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OXFORD UNIVERSITY STUDENT UNION’S ALTERNATIVE PROSPECTUS 2014-16

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Editor: Maeve Scullion Assistant Editor: Rachel Pickering Art Director: Laura Whitehouse | www.laurawhitehouse.co.uk Cover Photo: Sam Fabian Models: Flo Barnett and Oliver Robinson | Keble College Welfare Officers Acknowledgements: A warm thanks to Brona O’Toole and Theo Sundh at OUSU for support and guidance. Also, thank you to Gabriella Wells at Oxford University Admission Services. A full list of our contributors and photographers may be found at the back of this publication, and we’d like to say a very special thank you to all of them. Published by Oxford University Student Union Copyright 2014 Oxford University Student Union Oxford University Student Union 2 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX12BX T (01865) 288 452 www.ousu.org enquiries@ousu.org Facebook: OUSUnews Twitter: OUSUnews All information is believed to be correct at the time of going to print (February 2014). Although every effort has been made to verify details no responsibility is taken for any errors or omissions, or any loss arising therefrom.


FOREWORD è Welcome to OUSU’s Alternative Prospectus 20142016. Seeing as you’re flicking through this, you’re probably wondering whether or not you ought to apply to Oxford – either this year (or the next, or sometime in the future). Well, take it from me, it’s definitely worth thinking about.

I applied to Oxford in 2009 to study Geography, planning to defer my entry for a year. I’d never properly read a Geography book before (minus, of course, A-Level text books explaining ox-bow lakes etc). I was the first from my state comprehensive in Leeds to apply to Oxford in years. I loved my time at Oxford, and can’t imagine a university in which I would have been happier or enjoyed studying and libraries quite so much! Oxford allowed me to do things that I never imagined doing before I arrived here. I became President of my college’s common room; was funded to spend ten weeks in Madagascar collecting data for my dissertation, and this year, I’m working as Vice President for Access and Academic Affairs at OUSU, Oxford’s student union. Despite what I thought when I wrote my UCAS, it doesn’t matter one bit what part of the country (Northerners, I mean it) or, indeed, the world, you come from. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what colour your skin is, or what school you’ve been to. Merit alone determines whether or not you’ll get a place here. So if you have enthusiasm for your subject and intellectual ambition, then apply! It’s only one place on your UCAS form and it could be the best decision you ever make! (Rachel Pickering, OUSU VP for Access and Academic Affairs)

Left to right: Laura Whitehouse, Maeve Scullion, Rachel Pickering When I was in sixth form, I knew very little about Oxford – I applied on a bit of whim. I felt I had a very slim chance of getting in, and when I got the email saying that I had an offer to study English at Wadham College, I was convinced that it was some sort of admissions mistake. I thought I’d show up for Freshers’ Week and see how long I could stay before I was “found out”. However, when I arrived, I discovered that my fears about not being clever enough were unfounded – and not at all uncommon among the people I met (even if they didn’t let on initially). Now in my final year, I have had almost all my presumptions about Oxford proved wrong. That’s why I jumped at the chance to edit the Alternative Prospectus. If you have a good academic record and enjoy a subject enough to study it for the next three or four years, then you shouldn’t let misinformation stop you from feeling that you can apply and succeed here. In these pages, you’ll read the contributions of dozens of students from all sorts of backgrounds. Even at that, it’s impossible to incorporate every experience, memory, and discovery that a student at Oxford could have – that’s what makes it such an amazing place to study. If you take away anything from this prospectus, I hope it’s the impression that Oxford is full of possibilities. (Maeve Scullion, Editor of the Alternative Prospectus)

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CONTENTS ALL ABOUT OXFORD

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COLLEGES

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Let’s begin at the beginning. The essentials. Hopefully it’ll give an answer to every “How?” “Why?” and “Why not?” you might have, but if not, we’ve included links to some official uni sites.

Explained: what are the ‘colleges’ and the differences between them. Students from each college give you a sneak peak of each.

6 Why Oxford? 8 Why Not Oxford? 9 Oxford in the Headlines 10 Application Process 12 Financial Support 16 Access 17 Race, Ethnicity and Culture 18 Women 19 LGBTQ 20 Mature Students 21 Student Parents 22 Disabilities 23 Health and Welfare

28 Balliol 30 Brasenose 32 Christ Church 34 Corpus Christi 36 Exeter 38 Harris Manchester 40 Hertford 42 Jesus 44 Keble 46 Lady Margaret Hall 48 Lincoln 50 Magdalen 52 Mansfield 54 Merton 56 New 58 Oriel 60 Pembroke 62 Queen’s 64 Regent’s Park 66 St Anne’s 68 St Benet’s Hall 70 St Catherine’s 72 St Edmund’s Hall 74 St Hilda’s 76 St Hugh’s 78 St John’s 80 St Peter’s 82 Somerville 84 Trinity 86 University 88 Wadham 90 Worcester 92 Blackfriar’s 93 St Stephen’s House 93 Wycliffe Hall

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Choosing a college

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Picking which subject to apply for can be tricky. We’ve got profiles on all of them to help you decide. 96

Choosing a course

98 Archaeology and Anthropology 99 Biochemistry 100 Biology 101 Biomedical Sciences 102 Chemistry 103 CAAH (Classical Archaeology and Anthropology) 104 Classics 104 Classics and English 105 Classics and Modern Languages 105 Classics and Oriental Studies 106 Computer Science 106 Computer Science and Philosophy 107 Earth Sciences (Geology) 108 Economics and Management 109 Engineering Science 110 English 110 English and Modern Languages 111 European and Middle Eastern Languages 112 Experimental Psychology 113 Fine Art 114 Geography 115 History 115 History (Ancient and Modern) 116 History and Economics 116 History and English 117 History and Modern Languages 117 History and Politics 118 History of Art 119 Human Sciences 120 Law (Jurisprudence) 120 Law with Law Studies in Europe 121 Materials Science 122 Mathematics 122 Mathematics and Computer Science 123 Mathematics and Philosophy 123 Mathematics and Statistics 124 Medicine 125 Modern Languages 125 Modern Languages and Linguistics 126 Music 127 Oriental Studies 128 Philosophy and Modern Languages 128 Philosophy and Theology 129 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) 130 Physics 130 Physics and Philosophy 131 Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics 132 Theology and Religion 132 Theology and Oriental Studies

OXFORD LIFE

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It’s not all libraries and lectures. After all, Oxford’s a city, not just a uni. See what it has to offer. 136 Oxford Traditions 137 City Life 138 Entertainment 138 Clubs 139 Food 139 Pubs

GET INVOLVED

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A run-down of the different societies and activities you can get involved in. 142 A Week in the Life of an Oxford Student 144 Sport 145 Music 146 Drama 147 Media and Journalism 149 Politics 150 Charities and Volunteering 151 Religion 152 Other Societies

USEFUL THINGS

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156 Map of Oxford 158 Useful contacts 160 Acknowledgements

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WHY OXFORD? Unfortunately, many talented and bright students are put off applying to Oxford because of the amount of negative misconceptions surrounding the place. With so many wonderful provisions and opportunities here, you’d be hard pushed to find a better – or more accessible – university to study at.

èWorld ranking As a university, Oxford is consistently ranked in first or second place in the UK and can almost always be found in the Top 10 in world rankings. These ranking aren’t all about prestige, either. These figures take into account important factors like student satisfaction and quality of research and teaching at an institution, so not only does the Oxford name carry globally, but it’s also an indicator of a lot of happy students with one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK. èLibraries Oxford is home to the UK’s second biggest library service, the Bodleian Libraries. It’s a copyright library, meaning it has a copy of every book published in the UK, so you should never have to spend a penny on books! It goes on for miles underground and has off-site storage spaces to accommodate its 11 million books, essays, journals and pamphlets. There are almost a hundred faculty and college libraries connected this central Bodleian Library service. There’s also a master electronic search system, making looking for books easy and convenient. It might not mean much to you now, but believe me – it makes researching for essays a lot easier.

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èTutorials The tutorial system is what makes the teaching here truly unique. Tutorials are lessons with just your tutor, yourself, and another student. Tutorials centre on an essay or problem sheet that you will have done that week and they give you the opportunity to expand upon the reading you have done during that week. It sounds daunting – especially as your tutors are leading academics and may have written books about the topics you discuss – but it’s an opportunity rarely afforded to students outside of Oxbridge and you soon get used to the demands placed on you. You learn to think on your feet as your tutors push you to find your own miniepiphanies!


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èColleges The college system is, for many, the main advantage to studying at Oxford. We’ve explained it further in pages 26-27, but, in short, it just breaks up the university into smaller communities of students and staff. Each college has its own particular character, facilities, and quirks, and it makes socialising much easier as you aren’t overwhelmed by thousands of students when you arrive. èJobs In an increasingly unstable economy, it’s comforting to know that a recent survey found that 95 percent of Oxford leavers are employed or in further study six months after graduation. The critical-thinking and time-management skills that students pick up at Oxford make them popular with employers, who often organise recruitment events and fairs to encourage Oxford students to apply for jobs with them. The university’s careers service is an invaluable tool for finding graduate jobs as well as paid and unpaid internships in all sorts of fields. They also offer one-on-one careers advice and a mentoring scheme that allows you to contact for careers advice alumni that are currently working in a job you think you’d like!

èFinancial support Because Oxford prides itself on admitting the brightest students, regardless of their financial background, Oxford is a very generous university when it comes to bursaries and other forms of financial support. Most of the financial support you may receive from the university is means-tested and there are no-strings attached. (Turn to page 12 for more information on this topic.)

è The people Oxford attracts a wide range of personalities; students from lots of different backgrounds come to study here, which makes it an exciting and vibrant student body to be a part of. One of the reasons why we have so many thriving societies is that the student body is incredibly active and passionate about lots of different things. Whatever your interests are, you’ll find like-minded people here. Check out our Get Involved section for inspiration.

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SO WHY NOT OXFORD? We won’t lie to you, doing a degree at Oxford is hard work. If it weren’t, its graduates wouldn’t be so sought after, the university might specialise in tourism instead, and thousands of the brightest students from around the world would never realise their potential. What we’re trying to say is that, as daunted as you might be at the prospect of churning out essay after essay or ploughing through problem-sheets for eight weeks, when you get here, you realise that it can be done. And it can be done in time for you to meet your friends at the pub / rehearsals / team practice / what have you. Nor do you have to be a swot or a super genius to do it. The cliché “work hard, play hard” is thrown around a lot in relation to Oxford, and it’s sort of true. Eventually, you find the work-life balance that suits you, which basically just means that you might have less time to sleep or Facebook stalk. But, hey, that’s why Oxford vacations are longer than Oxford term-time. In short, don’t let media empires and random strangers on the internet put you off applying if you think you could be happy here.

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OXFORD IN THE HEADLINES It seems that not a week goes by without a “scandal” at the University of Oxford appearing in the media. In spite of its efforts to cast off the image of elitism and privilege, the stereotype of Bullingdon Club boys spraying champagne everywhere is picked up by newspapers again and again.

But are many of those crazy stories about posh, obnoxious kids actually true? And is everyone at the university really like that? The answer to both questions, we’re happy to say, is NO! To give you a taste of how the media spins outdated stereotypes and exaggeration of Oxford to sell papers, we’ve picked up a few recent examples.

“Knowledge of a banana may be the key to Oxbridge entry” (The Independent, September 2010) Ah yes, the old “scare ‘em with ridiculous interview questions” trick – the media’s trick, that is, not Oxford tutors. On the contrary, tutors want to help you impress as much as possible at interview, not set traps for you. There may be a grain of truth in some of the old wives’ tales about tutors hiding in their wardrobes, but these are all totally outdated, outmoded, and absent from the interview system.

“‘Oh they’ve let the commoners in’: State school pupils goaded by student at Oxford University” (Daily Mail, May 2013)

This piece recounts a rather unpleasant story – while a group of state school pupils were doing a tour of the university, a pair of students allegedly remarked that someone had “let the commoners in”. What was probably intended as a careless and ill-advised joke was immediately seized upon by the media and gave the misleading impression that all Oxford students felt the same way about state-school students. In fact, recent figures show just over half of Oxford students come from a state or grammar school background, and the outrage that many students (from all backgrounds) felt at this remark was overlooked in this Daily Mail article (surprise surprise, eh?)

“Oxford students fined for drunkenness and vandalism” (The Daily Telegraph, October 2013)

This piece made it sound as if Oxford is a hot-bed of debauchery – which it can be, if you know where to look. But, it also shows how Oxford students are no different from any other university in that they sometimes get drunk, have fun - and occasionally make mistakes. And actually, while we’re on the subject of late-night revelry, it’s worth pointing out that that other great myth – about Oxford having curfews – is utter rubbish.

“Is Oxford University a Training Ground for Misogyny?” (The Independent, October 2013)

The media love to scare bright young students into thinking that Oxford hates women, but the fact of the matter is that, although there is a ‘lad culture’ at almost every university, the reason that cases of it are picked up is because of student outcry against the more exceptional examples of it. If anything, Oxford is determined to redress gender inequalities, and most of this pressure comes from students themselves. Here, we have a flourishing feminist community where women can make their voices and concerns heard. Take a look at our section on Women at Oxford on page 18.

“David Cameron attacks Oxford University for lack of black students” (Metro, April 2011)

The PM made the rather unfortunate comment in a speech about social mobility, bemoaning the “fact” that only one black student had gained a place at Oxford in 2009. Cameron was slightly off the mark there - 27 black students gained places at Oxford in 2009. He was only looking at one ethnic category – Black Caribbean. If you want to find out what Oxford’s really like for students who identify as BME, look at page 17 for our feature on Race, Ethnicity, and Culture.

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Submitting your application As with most other British universities, applications to Oxford are made through UCAS. You can’t apply to both Oxford and Cambridge and you’ll need to remember that applications to Oxford have to be submitted early (on 15th October) through UCAS. You can choose to apply to a specific college or make an open application, in which case you will be interviewed at a randomly selected college (more about this on pages 26-27). A key part of the application process is the personal statement. I’m sure you’ll be receiving lots of advice from school/friends about what to and what not to include here. The most important thing to remember is that tutors are looking for candidates who can demonstrate a passion and enthusiasm for their chosen subject, not necessarily someone who already knows the syllabus back to front. Aptitude tests and written work submissions An increasing number of subjects are asking for samples of written work or requiring a pre-interview test as part of their admissions process. Tests are specifically designed to test aptitude rather than knowledge, meaning that you can’t prepare for them whatever the content of the test will be. To ease your nerves, however, you may want to look at some past papers and make sure to read the criteria. To check if you have to register for a test or submit written work, check the university admissions website at ox.ac.uk/ apply

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The interviews The words, ‘Oxford interview’ tend to inspire fear, and certainly did when I got my letter calling me to interview, but they are not designed to at all. The tutors interviewing are looking for someone who’ll enjoy and excel at the course, so showing that you have a strong interest in the subject is the most important thing. There’s no right way to prepare but you may find it useful to have a mock interview beforehand with a willing teacher and of course reread your personal statement and any submitted work, and consider how you might respond to questions about them. My top tip would be to turn up in something you feel comfortable in and just be yourself – you can’t be anything better than yourself. Tutors are trying to see how you think and what skills you have; they are not trying to catch you out on random facts hidden within your course textbook! You may be interviewed at more than one college during the interview period; this is quite normal so there’s nothing to worry about. One student might have two interviews at one college and another candidate applying for the same course might have multiple interviews at up to three colleges, but both students might be just as likely to get a place at Oxford. The process is all quite random but if you have any questions during interviews just talk to the college admissions tutor or interview helpers.


introduction Hearing back You will hear back from colleges in early January. If you are made an offer for a place, it will either be for a specific college (normally the one you applied for, or an open offer, which means you are guaranteed a place if you meet the terms of the offer but won’t find out which college you will be at until results day). Offers are conditional upon you achieving certain grades, usually A*A*A – AAA at A-Level, or equivalent qualifications. Every year around 75 percent of those who apply do not receive an offer, so if you are among these then you can consider reapplying during a gap year or apply for graduate study after going to a different university. If you don’t ultimately get into Oxford, then remember that there are many other excellent universities where you will have a fantastic time. This information is just a whistle-stop tour of the application process; the best place to go for more detailed information and if you have any queries is the university admissions website (www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/index. html).

The circumstances surrounding my interviews were a little stressful to say the least. Due to heavy snow my flight from Belfast (where I lived) was delayed for several hours so I was totally sleepdeprived when I arrived. Fortunately, the college was really supportive and rearranged my interviews. Current students acted as helpers for the interview period. They made me cups of tea, told me what to expect and put my mind at ease. They also organised events in the evening where I met other candidates – I’m still friends with a few of them! Don’t worry if the interviews themselves don’t go to plan. There were definitely a few things that I wish I’d done or said differently but these are long forgotten. Maeve Scullion, 3rd Year, English at Wadham.

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5 FINANCIAL SUPPORT £9000 is a lot of money but it doesn’t make studying at Oxford unaffordable for anyone. Rachel Pickering, Vice President for Access and Academic Affairs, is here to tell you why.

è If you are a UK or EU citizen, you won’t have to pay tuition fees upfront. The Student Loans Company will lend you the money (https:// www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-studentfinance).

almost any other university in the country because of the financial support that Oxford will give you. This support comes in the form of the Oxford Bursary, more details of which can be found at www.ox.ac.uk/funding.

è It’s true that if you take out a tuition fee loan (or maintenance loan) to study at university, you will be in debt after you leave. BUT how much you pay off is related to how much you earn AND you don’t pay anything until after you’ve graduated. Attending university is an investment in your future. On average, graduates earn much higher salaries than non-graduates, and no matter what you study, a university degree (especially one from Oxford) gives you a wider range of job opportunities to choose from, so you’re more likely to find your dream job after further study than you would be straight after leaving school.

è If you’re an overseas students, you will not be eligible for grants or loans from the UK government but you may be eligible for other awards and funding – check: www.ox.ac.uk/ admissions/undergraduate_courses/student_ funding/international_students/index Also, see page 14 for more details on grants!

èThe amount you pay back each month is likely to be very small, unless you have a massive salary after graduating. You don’t pay back anything until you’re earning a salary over £21,000 and even on this salary, you’re only required to pay 9 percent of your income. è Alongside tuition fee loans, the government will provide a basic rate of loan for living costs for all UK/EU students. This means that you won’t have to worry about finding all your living costs upfront. For students from families on low or middle incomes, the government and Oxford provide student support packages (which you don’t have to pay back at all) for living costs. è If you’re from a low-income background, you’ll be better off studying at Oxford than

Resources for Home/EU students:

è The National Union of Students www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/money-andfunding è Oxford Financial Support www.ox.ac.uk/funding è Overview of funding for UK students www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/studentfinance

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Cost of Living Between generous subsidies for accommodation and food, and savings on books and transport, Oxford needn’t be an expensive place to live if you are a student. Accommodation Unlike most universities, at Oxford every college will provide accommodation for your first year, with some providing it for every year of your degree. We’ve included college accommodation costs in our fact boxes on the college pages so have a look to compare costs! Accommodation is subsidised by colleges and can include extra perks such as a cleaner, internet access, a fridge and an internal phone. For students who live out of college accommodation, the rent market can be a little more expensive than some cities. Most students choose to live out with other students to bring costs down. Rent can be anywhere between £350 - £700 per month per person, with most students securing houses or flats at the lower end of this scale. Food College halls provide food, typically three meals a day during the week and then brunch at the weekend, which are subsidised. In many colleges the price of hall food is just the cost of the ingredients; so it’s actually as cheap as making it yourself, and you won’t have to do the dishes! However, both quality and price vary across colleges; going to an Open Day is a good way to taste it for yourself. Colleges also provide formal hall at least once a week, which is (usually) a delicious sit-down meal. Some colleges provide kitchen facilities for students, but the capacity and quality of these depend on the college – get in touch with individual colleges for the most up-to-date information. Oxford has a number of sandwich shops and cafés, some of which do student discounts. Have a look at our City Life section for more info.

Books Oxford has some of the best library provision in the country. Every college has its own library, and there is a library for every faculty (department). The main library, the Bodleian, is a copyright library, which means it has a copy of everything published in the UK, from Cosmopolitan to sociology journals. The sheer volume of books in Oxford means that you will rarely have to buy any, which is a significant advantage over other universities. Many colleges also offer funds and grants to those who do have to buy books, which helps to ease the costs. Transport As Oxford is a relatively small city, and all the colleges are pretty central, it is rare that you will have to travel more than a 10-15 minute walk to get anywhere. As a result, significant savings can be made compared to other universities because you will rarely need a bus or a taxi. In case you don’t fancy walking, you can join the thousands of students who choose to cycle round Oxford, and you can pick up a bike at one of the many bike sales for upwards of £20. Jobs At only eight weeks, Oxford’s terms are the shortest in the country. As a result, it is very difficult to find the time for part-time work during the term without compromising your study and social life. In addition to this, many colleges have explicit rules to stop undergraduates from undertaking paid work during term time. Many do, however, offer shifts in the library or bar. There are also plenty of opportunities to earn on the one off, whether by completing psychology experiments or freelancing at the Student Union as the editor or designer of this prospectus. There is a plus side to the short terms: it leaves more time for paid work during the holidays. During the summer many students choose to work back at home, or undertake internships, which are usually well-paid and offer valuable work experience. The Careers Service is an excellent resource, and advisors can assist you in securing suitable work.

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BURSARIES

Alumni Network Ex-Oxford graduates are very generous in giving students from their local area financial assistance! Here are some examples of bursaries given to students from around the UK. (Note: these are all figures from 2014 and may be subject to change.) Cornwall Branch Award Bursaries of £250, though a single award of £500 may be offered to an outstanding candidate, to Cornwall-based undergraduates for approved projects or internships. Dorset Branch Award A travel bursary from £250 to £350 for a ‘Dorset based’ undergraduate, donated by the OUS Branch of Dorset. East Kent Branch Award Sums of up to £750 to deserving students from East Kent, to assist in their summer activities. Hertfordshire Branch Award One or more bursaries of up to £300 are given to local undergraduates to provide part funding for projects involving travel, either overseas or in the UK. OUS West Sussex Alumni Branch Award Up to £300 to a student coming from West Sussex to help finance a project in the summer vacation that is relevant to the student’s course of study at Oxford.

Individual College Scholarships Mansfield: Sarah & Peter Harkness Bursary An award of £250 per year will be made to one student living and having completed 6th form studies in Yorkshire or the North East, who is studying for an undergraduate or graduate degree at Mansfield. New College: Rycote Bursaries Two bursaries offered to support students from state secondary schools in the historical region of South Oxfordshire. An anonymous benefactor has made a generous donation, which the New College Development Fund will administer to provide two bursaries each year, both worth approximately £2500. The University Palgrave Brown Scholarship £5,000 per year (for up to four years) is available to one student who must be ordinarily resident in and/or educated in the UK counties of Norfolk or Suffolk, with an offer to read any subject at any college.

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We told you that Oxford was generous, didn’t we! Just look at all these bursaries. It’s only the tip of the iceberg, really. The university, colleges, official bodies and alumni offer a whole range of financial support for students with various backgrounds, college and course combinations, interests, etc. We’ve just pointed out a few regional ones (to your left) that you might not know about, and covered some of the major schemes (below). If you fancy having a formal role in music at a college, consider applying for: A CHORAL SCHOLARSHIP The role, commitment and perks will vary between colleges. While some choral scholars may be performing almost every day during term, others will have a more relaxed commitment. Some colleges have mixed choirs and fewer services, while those that demand the highest commitment (Christ Church, Magdalen and New) only take male choral scholars. AN ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP Organ scholars have the opportunity to receive a generous bursary, possibly their own room with a piano of their own, on top of earnings they may get from concerts or tours. Colleges taking organ scholars vary year on year so check the university’s website. Note: some colleges ask that their scholar is or is not applying to read Music. For more information on both scholarships, visit: www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate_courses/ applying_to_oxford/choral_organ/choralorgan.html

Reach Scholarship Who is eligible: Undergraduates who have received an offer from the university for any subject (apart from Medicine) and who are nationals of countries which receive official development assistance from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Award available: University fees and college fees, a grant for living expenses and one return air fare per year, for the entirety of the undergraduate course.

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Moritz-Heyman Scholarship Who is eligible? First time UK/EU undergraduate students. A variety of factors is used to choose the scholars. These include: household income; post-code associated socioeconomic indicators; previous school performance; and whether the student has ever been in the care of the state. Additionally, preference is given to those following a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) pathway. The Moritz-Heyman Scholarship programme provides students from lower income households with a higher level of funding, opportunities to take part in volunteering activities, and access to internships during the summer vacation. Find out more on: www.ox.ac.uk/funding “Moritz-Heyman Scholars are encouraged to volunteer for 25 hours per year in any way they choose. This is a great opportunity to explore Oxford whilst gaining extra CV points. Extensive support is given in financing and locating the obligatory internship, which provides real-world experience with many venturing abroad. Furthermore, termly socials foster the long-term friendships that are quickly established between the current scholars.” Rhys Dore, 2nd Year, Medicine at Worcester.

Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Scholarship Who is eligible: UK undergraduates studying any subject except Medicine at any college who come from a Muslim community. It is assessed based on financial need and academic merit. Award available: Covers university fees and a grant for living expenses.

Lloyds Scholars Programme Who is eligible: New UK students from households with incomes of £25,000 or less. Award available: Bursaries additional to other university and government support, work experience at paid summer internships, further awards for excellent academic achievement. There are 15 of these scholarships available per year.

There are plenty more bursaries for International students than just the Reach Scholarship; you just need to know where to look. For example, East Asian students should take a look at the Jardine Foundation and the colleges that offer it (Exeter, Oriel, Queen’s and Trinity); US citizens, check out the The Mingos Charter Scholarship at St Edmund Hall; and all overseas students might consider Balliol for its many scholarships catering to international students or Trinity for its upcoming J H McKeown Scholarship in 2016.

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ACCESS

Oxford, through its outreach work, reaches 78% of UK schools with post-16 provision – virtually all schools that field candidates capable of making a competitive application to Oxford.

Despite what you might have heard in the headlines, Oxford is accessible. The admissions process does not discriminate, nor does it socially engineer. In fact it does not, as the media often states, select on the basis of school background, socio-economic background, race or age or any other factors. Admission to Oxford is purely meritocratic, with the selection process based solely on academic ability and potential.

2200 outreach events held annually; through its flagship summer school programme, UNIQ, for state school students; or by offering the most generous financial support for the most economically disadvantaged students of any university in the country for 2012. Compared to other higher education institutions it is clear that Oxford puts more time and resources into its outreach activity than just about any other university in the country.

It is true that the current mix of undergraduates at Oxford is not fully representative of the UK student population; in 2012, 57.5 percent of places for undergraduate courses went to applicants from the state sector and 42.5 percent from the independent sector. The reason that this is not representative of the country as a whole is that the number of students achieving AAA and above at A Level or equivalent qualifications in state schools is much lower than it is in private schools. Figures relating to Oxford’s diversity (whether socioeconomic, ethnic, school type or other) mean little without considering the lack of diversity within the current pool of students showing the level of academic achievement to make a competitive application to Oxford.

Access to Oxford isn’t just a university priority. Students are involved too. Whether that be through the OxTweet Project, as ambassadors in their college or through the OUSU Target Schools Campaign, who run the annual shadowing scheme for Year 12 students. Access to Oxford is an issue that unites students, and students have been campaigning on this issue at both a national and local level for decades.

Even though social mobility is an issue that stems back to birth and beyond, Oxford is committed to ensuring all those with the potential to succeed apply. This commitment is multifaceted, whether it be through the

Yes, Oxford faces challenges to ensure the brightest do apply, and often receives negative national press when it comes to issues of socio-economic background and diversity, but Oxford has an engaged student body and staff that are committed to ensuring Oxford is an accessible university to which the brightest, irrespective of any other factors, apply.

By 2014, there will be 1000 places available on Oxford’s free university

OXFORD HOLDS NEARLY

2200

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES ANNUALLY

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summer school UNIQ. Of those UNIQ students who put in applications, over 40% ended up with places – against an overall success rate for Oxford applicants of around 20%.


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RACE, ETHNICITY, AND CULTURE

A few words from the students on the committee for the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE).

è è

in ways in which we never have before. It is incredibly powerful. When you don’t look like everyone else, it can be a hard experience at times. But it is also an “People from working class backgrounds [and] incredible experience for learning, strength, ethnic minorities shouldn’t be discouraged and growth. We’re in this together at Oxford. from applying to Oxford. There is much on offer in terms of societies, You know, I’m an ethnic minority [...] If you can activism, and support for BME (Black and come to Oxford and feel yourself integrate, Minority Ethnic) students. then you can do anything anywhere in the world. I think that’s a benefit we can take from Our group, the Campaign for Racial Awareness that – as in, I’m happy [...] When you think of and Equality (CRAE) is: people taking the piss race-wise – you know, è A safe space for everyone to talk about it’s very few times… Because as much as issues of race, racism, and diversity. there’s been crap, you know, I think that the è An action hub to change student culture benefits are so great.” and policy rules for a more inclusive and more diverse Oxford. Some of what we have in the - A black student interviewed for “100 works: Voices,” a student campaign to capture the è The first race summit in Oxford’s 800+ multicultural experience at Oxford year history with the university’s top-dogs to take action toward better access and welfare The student quoted above makes three structures for BME students. important points: è Curricular review schemes so that tutorials è We urge you to apply to Oxford! We believe and papers reflect scholars that are not just that more black and minority ethnic students dead white men – to include women, LGBTQ should be a part of this university community. folk, and black and minority ethnic writers. APPLY! è The launch of new equality and diversity è Okay, it’s not always easy being at trainings for students and staff to recognise Oxford. Coming to Oxford brings with it and address prejudice. incredible prestige, privilege, and pressure. The collegiate system gives each of us a And it’s not just our Campaign. There’s an community (of many!) within the university incredible number of cultural societies such to share the good times and the hard times. as the African and Caribbean Society (ACS), Within these smaller college communities, the Oxford India Society, the Oxford Chinese though, there might not be many others who Students and Scholars Association (OXCSSA), share each of our ethnic backgrounds. That the Oxford Latin American Society, and more! might mean that sometimes we feel especially visible or like we’re treated differently. Join us in changing the face – and voice – of è “The benefits are so great.” We have all Oxford. grown so much since coming to Oxford, in We need you. the classroom but especially out of it. There Oxford needs you. are support spaces. Within places like our campaign, we have the opportunity to talk Campaign for Racial Awareness at Oxford about our experiences of race and racism http://ousu.org/get-involved/campaigns/ crae/

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9 è

introduction

WOMEN

Talking about women at Oxford is Anna Bradshaw, Wadham College Women’s Officer and a WomCam Committee Member.

interesting speakers. There’s also loads going on in individual colleges, between the colleges, and outside of the students’ union / societies framework. When I was applying to Oxford, I read a lot of There are three different ‘zines, which are DIY scary things about gender imbalance, drinking magazines that publish all sorts of articles, societies, and a crusty old institution run by creative writing, and art to do with women old, white men who don’t like change. When I and feminism. There are quite a few different arrived, I found that those things do exist, but discussion groups, some more academic, and they also mean that Oxford strives to work some more pop-culture-y, which meet up to against this. In doing so, it has an incredibly talk about all different sides of feminism and diverse and vibrant community of people who women’s issues. work, in all different areas, campaigning for women. One of the things that has been the most important to me has been the increasingly OUSU has two different campaigns, as well intersectional character of all of these as a full-time dedicated Vice President for groups and activities that try to include many Women. There’s the Women’s Campaign (or sets of people that experience oppression. WomCam), which runs all sorts of different For example, WomCam has just recently things, from movie nights and discussions, introduced working groups that focus on all to big campaigns like the “Who Needs different areas – including groups specifically Feminism?” whiteboard campaign that spread working for Black and Minority Ethnic women, to lots of other unis. And there’s It Happens LGBTQ women, and disabled women. Here, which is specifically focused on fighting sexual violence in the university. Honestly, some of the scary stories about Oxford have a grain of truth in them. But OUSU also runs a term-long leadership they are from the whole picture, and there’s development programme for women, and a huge amount of exciting stuff to get stuck the university has links to Springboard, into if you’re interested in campaigning for a separate organisation that runs short women – and it’s so vibrant and diverse that leadership courses for women in the you’re almost certain to find someone who is vacations. There are also different societies interested in the same stuff that you are. (And that are concentrated on specific areas – if not, there’s no one better than you to start like OxFEST (Oxford Females in Engineering, something new – and no place better than Science and Technology) and OXWIB (Oxford Oxford in which to start it!) Women in Business) – that put on events, hold networking sessions, and get in really

45% identify as female. Oxford has the second lowest proportion of female students in the UK after Imperial College London.

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introduction

10 LGBTQ Dan Templeton, OUSU’s LGBTQ representative, talks about Oxford’s thriving LGBTQ community.

For many students who identify as LGBTQ, university provides an important space; it’s one of the first places where they feel able to ‘be themselves’ and establish an independent identity. For other students, their university years may mark the first time that they’ve even thought about their sexual or gender identity. Rest assured though, Oxford is a very supportive environment and has a thriving LGBTQ scene. College LGBTQ Reps are often the first port of call for LGBTQ freshers. They can provide students with information about the best club-nights and will often organise college LGBTQ events or socials with other colleges. (Look out for the famous LGBTQ inter-college crew-dates as well as for the non-drinking LGBTQ events such as Pansexual Tea.) The LGBTQ reps also sit on JCR Committees and help with any welfare issues you may have. Oxford University LGBTQ Society is one of the largest student societies in the university, organising several events each week. LGBTQsoc exists primarily in a social and welfare capacity; it’s a way for LGBTQ students to socialise in a safe environment. Events include weekly drinks, film nights, brunches, trips to London, a queer studies circle and many more! More information can be found at www.oulgbtsoc.org.uk.

ensure gender neutral facilities in any new builds. The campaign also represents Oxford at the NUS LGBTQ Conference and works with other universities on wider issues. In terms of nightlife, even as a small city, Oxford doesn’t disappoint. Every Tuesday, Poptarts in Babylove is a popular venue for both Oxford and Oxford Brookes students. At the weekend, Plush is where town and gown meet in style, the drinks are flowing and the music is pumping. For those who can’t wait till then, the Jolly Farmers and Castle Tavern are great pubs providing an LGBTQ-friendly venue. No matter where you sit on the LGBTQ spectrum, Oxford offers a chance to get involved, meet others and just have a bit of fun! Even those from London, Brighton and the Northern metropolises are surprised at just how much Oxford’s LGBTQ scene has to offer. For more information or any questions you may have, feel free to email lgbtq.chair@ousu. org.

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On the other hand, The OUSU LGBTQ Campaign takes on the political causes. The campaign represents LGBTQ students within the university, trying (and succeeding!) to get the best deal for them. Recent successes of the campaign include the decision by the university to change the sub fusc dress code (the ‘uniform’ for examinations) so that it did not impose gendered codes and a pledge to

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introduction

11MATURE STUDENTS Henry Procter, Chair of the Mature Students Campaign, on what it’s like to be a little older and wiser than the typical undergraduate. At Oxford, ‘mature student’ is applied to undergraduates aged 21 and over at the point of degree entry, and to postgraduates aged 25 and over. There are approximately 900 undergraduate students in this category and a lot more postgraduates. We’re a big group! Oxford has traditionally been where those aged 18 (sometimes younger!) ‘come up’ to study. Even though the university has a history of supporting mature learners, e.g. the extension programme of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Oxford undergraduate degree has often been for those that have just graduated from secondary school. This does mean that, for the older student, some college environments can feel a bit like a crèche! The college environment is an important part of your experience at Oxford. Harris Manchester is a college specifically for mature students, although all colleges accept mature students for their undergraduate courses. Your college’s common room will provide you with a social space, entertainment and activities. It is worth asking your prospective college if, as a mature student, you can be a member of both the Middle and Junior Common Rooms. The latter is usually reserved for undergrads, whilst the former is for postgrads. Some colleges will give married or civil partners membership rights, e.g. use of the library, bar and dining facilities. Some colleges are particularly good at providing for families with their own (very busy) nurseries and baby changing facilities. (For more information on being a student parent, look on the opposite page.) Be aware that the rental market in Oxford, should you not secure college accommodation, can be expensive. Oxford is a supportive environment and offers its students excellent services. Mature students from abroad may be interested

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in the Newcomers Club, which hosts teas and tours of the city. Should you run into problems whilst at Oxford help is at hand, including OUSU’s Student Advice Service. In my experience as a mature student, both the university and my college have gone out of their way to help me during stressful periods. Student-led support is also generous. The OUSU Mature Students’ Campaign hosts socials during term putting the ‘golden oldies’ in touch! Oxford also has a host of student societies and you will be blown away by the selection. Societies usually welcome everyone, but some cater particularly for the older student. The larger societies are comprised of a diverse group – for example, at the Oxford University Badminton Teams, I play with fellow students, librarians and even the odd Emeritus Professor! Generally, Oxford does have a reputation for hosting very sophisticated festivities, and it is true to say that social events often involve a more ‘adult’ atmosphere. There are lots of events that are more about wine than Jägerbombs. Of course, there is plenty of fun to be had in Oxford city with its many clubs and bars! Mature Students coming to Oxford may have already had professional careers and the University’s Careers Service is well equipped to help you fine-tune your CV and career aspirations. It’s true to say that no matter your age, studying at Oxford will always be an unforgettable experience, so apply and good luck!


introduction

12 STUDENT

PARENTS

Sarah Pine, OUSU VP for Women, is responsible for helping student parents to find in Oxford what’s best for them and their families.

your waiting time may be much shorter.

Hardship funding is available through both the government and the university. Oxford is keen that no one be prevented from completing Lots of people think that it’s impossible to be or beginning a course because they have a parent and a student at Oxford, but there are children, so there is a lot of help available. actually quite a few. In my role at OUSU, I work Colleges have hardship funds, as does the with over one hundred students who have central university. Whilst there isn’t loads of children. Lots of people’s ideas about student money around, lots of student parents find the life don’t include families, but there are many support they do get to be invaluable. provisions for student parents at Oxford. OUSU runs student parent socials for those Some colleges have really great support for that want to meet other student parents. student parents, including couples and family Partners and spouses are also welcome at accommodation, as well as on-site babythe university’s ‘Newcomers Club’, which is changing facilities. Studying at Oxford doesn’t a social space for partners as well as groups have to be unfriendly to families, and for lots and clubs for kids. of students, it is a great place to raise a child, with its range of baby and toddler groups, The university also aims to offer as much preschools, schools, and supportive networks structural support as it can. The university of other students with families. runs a number of childcare services, which offer full-time or part-time places For more information, visit www.ousu.org/ to the children of students and staff. As of advice/life-welfare/studentswithfamilies/ or August 2013, a full-time place in one of the email studentparents@ousu.org to receive a university’s nurseries (for a four-month-old copy of the OUSU Student Parent Handbook. to five-year-old) costs £752.26 per month for Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm care. Part-time care for three days a week is £493.87 per 3 colleges (Balliol, St. Anne’s and month and part-time care for two days a week Somerville) have their own nurseries. is £329.24 per month. The University reviews fees annually. Student parents get priority places in university and college childcare. The university subsidises about 30% of There can be a bit of a waiting list for them the price for childcare services. though, so get in touch before you arrive if you’re worried about childcare. If you are a lone parent or have a child with a disability,

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13 DISABILITIES Chris Pike, a PPE finalist at Teddy Hall, talks about provisions for disabled students.

What’s it like going to Oxford with a disability? Well, how long is a piece of string? Every student who comes to this university has a unique experience, and for disabled students that’s even more the case. The challenges we as individuals face may never be fully understood by any of our friends or tutors. That sounds scary, but by using the immense amount of support available here at Oxford, it can make the experience really great. I’ve got Asperger Syndrome, which is a form of autism, and I arrived at university just one month after turning 18. I was still far behind most of my peers in terms of social engagement, especially compared to some of the public-school-preened gap-yah kids. That was really confusing for me, having expected to arrive at university and to just get into the swing of things. Sometimes I even found it hard to go to dinner in college because the social anxiety would take over. It took me a little bit of time to learn that there was support available for me in the university. But when I did discover that support, I couldn’t believe just how much there was. Peer supporters and welfare reps in college,

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who were able to chat; the Vice-President for Welfare over at OUSU, who provided loads of info; the Counselling Service, the Disability Advisory Service, and the Student Advice Service. The names may all sound like bureaucracy, but behind them are people employed specifically to support students and they really help. Of course I still face challenges. I’ll always be autistic. And, yes, there are occasions when it still feels really hard. But there are amazing opportunities here, and my friends often tell me that of everyone they’ve met at uni, I’m the one they’ve seen grow the most personally. I’ve been involved in lots of different societies, and soon, I’m going to be taking on the job of OUSU Vice-President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities. I hope I’ll be able to do a good job in making sure every student has proper support – especially disabled students. There’s always someone here for you. Just ask your disability support worker or your welfare rep in college. And failing that, here are all those useful contacts that I was telling you about.

Disabilities Advice Service http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/shw/das/ OUSU Email Contact disabilities@ousu.org welfare@ousu.org


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14 HEALTH AND WELFARE OUSU’s Health and Welfare Officer Jamie Wells talks about the various levels of support available at the university. For most students, studying at Oxford will be one of the best times of their life, full of loads of academic, social and extracurricular opportunities. However, if students do experience difficulties while they’re studying here – which many people do – then there’s lots of help available to them to ensure that everyone in the university is able to make the most of their time here. A lot of student support happens in college, with each college having its own welfare team. This will include students like common room Welfare Officers (who provide information and resources to other students, and can also help with referrals to other services) and trained peer supporters, whose role it is to talk and listen to students facing problems. On top of this, every college will also have specific tutors responsible for welfare, who are impartial and confidential listeners that are also able to help students access whatever services they need in Oxford. To help with any physical or mental health problems, students will all have access to college nurses and doctors with regular surgery hours. OUSU has an important role in supporting the college welfare teams, providing them with the advice and resources that they need to help students, including the provision of welfare products such as contraception, lubricant and pregnancy tests at heavily subsidised prices. They also run the Student Advice Service, which offers confidential support to students who are facing difficult situations. There are also loads of out-of-college services linked to the university, such as the Disability Advisory Service, and the University Counselling Service, which provides free access to professional counsellors, who are

experienced in helping students with a range of personal and emotional problems. There are also lots of events throughout the year to promote awareness of specific causes and issues, and to help improve students’ health and welfare. For example, charities like Student Minds and OUSU’s Mind Your Head campaign both work to help promote awareness of issues relating to mental health, and Enough! works to help students with eating disorders, and advertises the different services available for students seeking help. If you do have long-term health problems, then don’t let this put you off applying to Oxford. There really is a lot of support to help all students here maximise their potential! OUSU’s Student Advice Service saw 438 students last year. Last year, 220 students were trained in peer support skills. Oxford University Health and Welfare www.ox.ac.uk/students/shw/ www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate_courses/ why_oxford/support_wellbeing/welfare.html OUSU Email Contact healthandwelfare@ousu.org

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Colleges

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Choosing a College As a university, Oxford is split up into over 30 different colleges. They’re sort of like halls of residence at other universities in that they’re where you live and eat meals (at least for your first year). However, that’s where most of the resemblance ends. While halls in other unis can be very much alike, Oxford colleges vary in population size, architecture, facilities, and traditions. You even have tutorials within that college (but lectures will be in the faculty).

The college community is your first experience of Oxford, really. The set-up makes it very easy to make friends in your year and the years above. Also, every college has a ‘Junior Common Room’ (JCR), a mini student union that organises events and holds open meetings, making democratic decisions to do with policies, funding, and other less serious stuff like what the college mascot should be, or whether the JCR President should have to wear a onesie to all meetings. There really is no “best college for… x, y or z.” The academic standard is high everywhere, and you can’t ‘tactically’ choose your college to increase your chances of being offered a place. However, one thing you should do is check to see which colleges offer your course. If you want to study English or History, the town’s your oyster; if you want to learn Persian, you’re going to be limited. Still, don’t let this put you off your chosen subject. The thing about the college system is that, when it comes to socialising, it doesn’t really matter in the end. Whatever your interests are, you can get involved in inter-collegiate societies or activities like drama or journalism (Read more about those in our Get Involved section!) Every college has its own sports teams, of almost every

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variety and skill-bracket. The page title was a little misleading, because, to tell you the truth, you don’t even have to choose a college. Almost 20 percent of applicants throw themselves into Fate’s hands and choose to put in an ‘Open’ application. They’re automatically pooled to a college at random. Even if a candidate applies directly to a college, there’s still a chance that either before or after their interviews, they will be ‘pooled’ and be interviewed at another college. This is so that, if one college has more brilliant candidates than places, the university can ensure that all students they think merit a place at Oxford will be offered one at another college. The reason you may want to choose your college, rather than submit this ‘Open’ application, is that one might really appeal to you, and since the colleges do vary in size, facilities, location and even rent, you may want to give it some thought, and read what current students have to say about their college.


Colleges and PPHs A-Z 28 Balliol 92 Blackfriar’s PPH 21+ 30 Brasenose 32 Christ Church 34 Corpus Christi 36 Exeter 38 Harris Manchester 21+ 40 Hertford 42 Jesus 44 Keble 46 Lady Margaret Hall 48 Lincoln 50 Magdalen 52 Mansfield 54 Merton 56 New 58 Oriel 60 Pembroke 62 Queen’s Name of the college, along with contact details and location in case you want to find out more.

21+

The colours around the sides of each page represent that college’s colours. A description of what it’s like to live and work at the college, as well as pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like and events that go on there.

Fact box with essential details about each college, such as entertainment and rent cost. If rent cost is a range, then the college offers tiered renting. Disclaimer: this may change year by year.

PPH

21+

64 Regent’s Park PPH 66 St Anne’s 68 St Benet’s Hall PPH 70 St Catherine’s 72 St Edmund’s Hall 74 St Hilda’s 76 St Hugh’s 78 St John’s 80 St Peter’s 92 St Stephen’s House PPH 82 Somerville 84 Trinity 86 Univ 88 Wadham 90 Worcester 93 Wycliffe Hall PPH 21+

What’s a… PPH? A Permanent Private Hall (PPH) is, to all intents and purposes, just like any other college. Students of PPHs have access to the same facilities as any other student and, at the end of their degree, will graduate with a degree from the University of Oxford. The main difference between PPHs and colleges is that they tend to be smaller in size and numbers and limited to Humanities subjects, which, for many applicants, is a strong pull factor. In addition, while most Oxford colleges have since abandoned their religious origins, PPHs retain their own religious tradition.

What’s a… Mature College? It says it in the name – a mature college is for “mature students”. Irrespective of mental age, a mature student is defined by the university as any student who is 21 or over when they begin their undergraduate degree. The colleges and PPHs which cater exclusively to ‘mature-students’ will be marked “21+”.

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colleges

Balliol

Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BJ | 01865 277777 | www.balliol.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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èUndergraduates: 373 èRent per term: £970 - £1676 èFacilities: On-site accommodation supplied for two years. Each staircase has a kitchen and bathrooms are normally shared between 4-6. Almost all rooms in off-site accommodation are en-suite. è Library: 24/7 èFood: Pantry (open all day) charges as little as £1.30 for a toastie. Dinner costs £3.45. Formal dinner is available once a week at £13.80. è Entertainment: 3 to 5 bops a term, a ball every 3 years. è Famous Alumni: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Oliver Smithies.

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“Balliol bar’s ‘Crazy Tuesdays’ are notorious for their cheap drinks.”


Equidistant between the Bodleian Library (that glorious place of essay-writing), and Tesco (that glorious store of biscuits for surviving said essays), nestles the Rapunzel-like castle that is Balliol College. Students here are a friendly, leftleaning crew who take their fortnightly “GMs” (JCR General Meetings) very seriously. But don’t worry – when things get tough, the lovely committee is always on hand with huge bowls of nachos and salsa to keep things interesting. Balliol is hugely enthusiastic about all things extra-curricular. There’s an active Music Society with free fortnightly concerts in the Hall and our theatrical highlight is undoubtedly the annual charity musical. If you’re particularly into singing, there’s an Evensong every Sunday for the non-auditioning college choir. Gowns are worn for the service, which might feel a bit strange at first, but you soon learn to love them when you realise that this otherwise muchneglected black cape-like garment entitles you to a free evening meal for all your choral efforts.

– and the odd fourth- and fifth-year – hanging around the college or basking in the sunshine on the back quad. (We’re lucky enough to have a massive lawn we can actually use.) That isn’t because second-years don’t love their college to bits. It’s because they’re living the wild dream off-site, either in college-owned accommodation a short five-minute walk away or in their very own student house. However long your degree, most people like the idea of spending their last year back in college, making the most of the beautiful social hub that is Balliol College.

Food is never in short supply at Balliol; as well as Hall (where most first years eat dinner), we also have the best all-day food hatch in the university, endearingly known as “Pantry”. Keeping everyone well topped-up with mid-morning fry-ups, lunchtime wraps and an early evening pizza or curry, the Pantry is always host to a group of chattering students, seduced by the wafts of baking. Mostly you’ll see first- and third-years

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colleges

Brasenose

Radcliffe Square, Oxford, OX1 4AJ | 01865 277830 | www.bnc.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 320 è Rent per term: £835 - £1160 è Facilities: On-site accommodation guaranteed for first-years and most thirdand fourth-years. Off-site accommodation is just five minutes away. Bathrooms are normally shared by 2-8 people but 50 percent of rooms on-site are en-suite. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs about £1. Lunch costs between £1.50 and £2.75. Dinner costs between £2-£4. Formal dinner is available 3 times a week at £4.75. è Entertainment: At least 3 bops a term, a ball every 2 years and other seasonal events like garden parties, dinners and a pantomime. è Famous Alumni: Director of Amnesty International UK Kate Allen, David Cameron, Michael Palin.

“A social hub with an ideal location, whatever your interests.”

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Right at the heart of the city, next to the iconic Radcliffe Camera and the High Street, Brasenose couldn’t be more convenient and central. We’re placed right next to the main university library (the Bodleian), the lecture halls known as Exam Schools, and all the best pubs, restaurants and clubs in central Oxford. Inside the college grounds, Brasenose is just as bustling. It’s quite difficult (except before 8am!) to cross the college without bumping into someone you know, and very easy to waste hours chatting with friends around – and, in the summer, actually on – the New Quad.

breakfast bar run from Gertie’s.

Outside of food, Brasenose has competitive sports teams in rugby, cricket, football (men’s and women’s) and the rowers have in recent years been gripped by a terrifying new enthusiasm for early-morning sessions. For the less talented or enthusiastic, sports like third division football or second team cricket provide the ideal ‘turn up and run around for a bit’ opportunity. Drama is also particularly popular at Brasenose, with Brasenose Arts Week combining plays with music and comedy. Our ball this year featured none other than Germany’s That’s not to say that Brasenose students finest comic, Henning Wehn, and a don’t work hard, and like any college, Beyoncé tribute act. Make of that what there’s pressure on you to do so, but in you will, but for me, it’s just more proof of general the tutors are fairly friendly and the vibrant eccentricity of Brasenose, one understanding, and even the hardest of the most dynamic colleges in Oxford. parts of the year don’t seem so bad when surrounded by such a supportive atmosphere. The Welfare Team, whose events range from anonymous cookie deliveries, free cake, coffee and chats during exam season, to help and guidance on more serious issues, are an absolute delight. On the subject of culinary delights, the recently rebuilt kitchens are some of the best in Oxford, as well as being outrageously cheap. There is also a sandwich bar, Gertie’s, which is the ideal spot for some lunchtime refreshment and procrastination – although, avoiding the lengthy queues is an art that takes a term to perfect. There’s also breakfast both in the dining hall and a slightly later

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colleges

Christ Church St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DP | 01865 276150 | www.chch.ox.ac.uk

Fact File:

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è Undergraduates: 450 è Rent per term: £1050 è Facilities: Accommodation provided for entirety of students’ degrees. Half of second-years are housed off-site, and the rest are housed on-site. Over 60 percent of rooms are en suite, the rest share bathrooms between 4-5. è Library: 9am-12am è Food: Breakfast costs £2. Lunch can be between £2 and £6. Dinner is £2.30, and a fomal sitting is available every night for the same price. è Entertainment: Average of 2 bops per term, a ball every 3 years, and other special formal dinners and cathedral events. è Famous Alumni: Lewis Carroll, William Gladstone, Robert Hooke.

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“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!” The first words of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, a novel written for Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church at the time, are still relevant today. When England switched to GMT in 1852, Christ Church continued to use ‘Oxford Time’ which means that, like the White Rabbit, the college is always running five minutes late. For the 450 undergraduates that live in Christ Church today, those extra five minutes are stretched to the maximum. Our JCR is always buzzing with a widerange of social events to give everyone a break from academic work. Our twicetermly cheesy fancy-dress parties are the highlights of a busy term for many, and film nights, concerts and plays put on by our talented musicians and actors, fantastic speaker events and whole college trips to the cinema and bonfire mean there’s always something happening throughout the term.

is a great chance for everyone to catch up after a busy day.) Of the second-year students living on-site, most share a ‘set’ (two bedrooms joined to a sitting room) with another friend. Of course, academia is key to Christ Church, as it is to any other college, and our impressive library boasts gems such as a first-edition copy of Newton’s Principia annotated by Hooke, and photographs taken by Lewis Carroll himself. Yet there is plenty of support to help you make the most of your time at Christ Church and the Welfare Team is always on hand with cake and smoothies. As the Mad Hatter said, “It’s always teatime” and our termly free cake means that we’ve always got an excuse to uphold another Alice in Wonderland tradition.

As one of the largest colleges, all undergraduates are guaranteed collegeowned accommodation for the duration of their course. Most first- and thirdyears live on-site with the majority in en-suite rooms; over half of the secondyear students live in college-owned flats: a fifteen-minute walk away yet with kitchens and a shared bathroom, it’s a chance for these students to live more independently. Still, many choose to eat meals in Hall with the rest of their year who live in college. (At just £2.30 for a three-course meal every night, dinner

“The rooms are among the best in Oxford.”

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colleges

Corpus Christi Merton Street, Oxford, OX1 4JF | 01865 276700 | www.ccc.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 248 è Rent per term: £989 - £1218 è Facilities: Accommodation on-site is provided for first-years, and off-site accommodation is provided for other years. There is one kitchen between every 20 people and one bathroom between four. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs £1.26, lunch is £2.16 and dinner is £2.68. A formal dinner is available once a week for £7.07. è Entertainment: 3 bops per term, a ball every 2 years, and an annual Tortoise fair. è Famous Alumni: Isaiah Berlin, the Miliband brothers, Vikram Seth.

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A stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the High Street, Corpus Christi is nestled between 3 of the largest colleges in Oxford, yet it still avoids the hordes of tourists that descend upon the town each day. As you walk into our main quad, you are greeted by luxurious sandstone blocks and pillars mixed in with beautiful gold and blue decorations. Everywhere you look around in the main quad you notice detail; looking from the golden pelican sundial that is the centrepiece of the college to the spurious vines travelling down the sides of the buildings, it becomes obvious why this particular quad is known for its beauty. Corpus is one of the smallest colleges in terms of undergraduate population size. Perhaps because of this, Corpus is more of a community than a college – you won’t find a more upbeat college anywhere in Oxford! Undoubtedly, this is shown by our furious rivalry with Corpus Christi, Cambridge. Each year, we engage in the Corpus challenge, which is held either at Oxford or Cambridge. This is an enormous inter-college competition which pits the best of Corpus Oxford’s minds and bodies against those of the opposing team. Afterwards, there is a huge dinner and the winner is declared! Another one of Corpus’ traditions is our annual tortoise race. Each year the best tortoises in the land (of Oxford) all gather on Corpus soil for a festival-like experience; with cakes and stalls and face painting, this is one of the major events of the Oxonian social calendar.

We have formal hall every Friday evening and we dress up for the occasion. For a three-course quality meal, the price is normally around £7. Afterwards, it’s customary to go for a drink in our beer cellar, where we have a range of drinks at cheap student prices. We also have bops down here (college socials) – a great way to start or end the term! Accommodation on site is of high quality but is often very difficult to get. First years are guaranteed rooms on site and the college offers college maintained accommodation to all years, but often this will be about a 10-15 minute walk from the college.

“A tight-knit, cosy community with a flair for tortoise-racing.”

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colleges

Exeter

Turl Street, Oxford, OX1 3DP | 01865 279600 | www.exeter.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 336 è Rent per term: £1310 - £1460 è Facilities: All first-years and one third of finalists live on site. Currently building accommodation on Walton Street. One shared kitchen on the main site, and bathrooms shared between up to 6. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast is £1.50, lunch is £2.05, dinner is £4.25. Formal dinner is available once a week at £9.50. è Entertainment: 2 bops a term, a ball every Summer, Turl Street Arts Festival, and a Charity Fun Day. è Famous Alumni: John Kufor, Philip Pullman, Imogen Stubbs.

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Of all the colleges on Turl Street, Exeter is the oldest (with our 700th Anniversary coming up in 2014), and we enjoy all the benefits of being both historical and central. We couldn’t get any closer to the Bodleian Library if we tried; our Fellows’ Garden has a balcony which overlooks Radcliffe Square, which for many people is the heart of Oxford; and every year, we participate in the Turl Street Arts Festival. We pay the price for this centrality with a small main site, but despite this, our spacious front quad ensures that the college never feels cramped or small. It’s always filled with Exonians chatting, eating lunch, or even attempting to work! Further into college, you find the beautiful Fellows’ Garden, which, in summer, becomes an idyllic space where students play croquet and sunbathe.

as ExCac. The college also hosts an annual ball, which is generally one of the cheapest in Oxford, and widely agreed to be the best ball for its price. Music, arts and drama events are a big part of college life, with a massive budget available to fund student projects. Over the past year these have included immersive film nights, a flashmob in Turl Street (set to the tune of ‘Call Me Maybe’!) and two entries into the intercollegiate drama competition.

With regard to sport, Exeter punches well above its weight, not only on the river, but also in football, rugby, and netball to name only a few. The annual Amalgamated Sports Dinner is a big event, and Exeter also runs its own undergraduate ski-trip, which is fairly cheap, and hugely enjoyable for both novices and seasoned skiers. Exeter has its own charity, ExVac (the Exeter College Vacation Project) which is funded and run entirely by its students. ExVac takes a group of disadvantaged local children on holiday every Easter. To make this possible, a lot of fundraising events happen in the college: open mic nights, a yearly Christmas revue, and a big summer BBQ and games event known

“Founded by a corrupt Lord High Treasurer who was then killed by a mob!”

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colleges

Harris Manchester

21+

Mansfield Rd, Oxford, OX1 3TD | 01865 271006 | www.hmc.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 95 è Rent per term: £1685 è Facilities: On-site accommodation supplied for two years. Over half of rooms are en suite; elsewhere, bathrooms are shared between 2. è Library: 8am – 11pm è Food: Breakfast is £1.80. Lunch is £3.75. Dinner is £5 and a formal sitting is available once a week for the same price. è Entertainment: About 3 bops a term, other informal and formal social events. è Famous Alumni: Karen Harrison, the first female British train driver, and Joe Roff, Australian rugby winger.


Harris began life as a Unitarian seminary in 1786, and is today a college for mature students (that is, students aged 21 and above). But don’t let that put you off; the college is not, contrary to popular belief, full of octogenarians. The average undergraduate here is around 21-24, and most have amazing life stories about their time within and outside school. What the college lacks in history or tradition it makes up for with vibrancy; this is by far Oxford’s most fascinating undergraduate community. Some of our members have done military service, others have written books, and a few have crisscrossed the world. You can be sure that no matter what your story, you’re adding to a rich tapestry of experience that marks this college out from the rest.

football team. The HMC Boat Club is also affiliated with Wadham, and the college’s rowers have contributed to stunning victories over the years. Many of our students also participate actively in wider university life, with some competing in tennis, theatre, and even BBC’s University Challenge. Social events are also a highlight of the college, with the recently refurbished bar and common room being the heart of student life here. Whether you want to chill with friends over a drink, show off at an open mic night, or party hard at a bop – you’ll find no lack of fellow enthusiasts.

Harris is undeniably different, and it isn’t afraid to be so. It’s a small and slightly older community, but take a step closer and you’ll find a student body that is Although Harris shares the common still as Oxonian as any other. It walks constraints of small colleges, the the fine line between individuality and facilities it does possess are first-rate. tradition, but its greatest secret is that Of particular note is the library, which is beneath the different veneer, this remains the sixth-largest in Oxford and staffed an accessible and friendly place where by a dedicated and friendly librarian anyone is free to make his/her own mark, team. Hall food is famous for being both and craft an Oxford experience that is delicious and affordable. Accommodation truly unique. is sizable and usually well-furbished, and while second-years are typically forced to move out, the college is at work on a new clock tower which will add several new rooms when it is complete in 2014. Some students will argue, however, that the best ‘facility’ the college possesses is its proximity to the popular Alternative Tuck Shop, which is just around the corner. While you won’t find century-old clubs to join, there are ample opportunities to step up and lead new initiatives. In recent years, the college has seen an immensely popular wine society, a community of film aficionados, as well as a formidable

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colleges

Hertford

Catte Street, Oxford, OX1 3BW | 01865 279400 | www.hertford.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 409 è Rent per term: £1099 è Facilities: On-site accommodation supplied for all first-years and some third-years. Others live in off-site accommodation, which has more kitchens than the in-site accommodation. Bathrooms are normally shared between 5. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast is about £1.30. Lunch is about £3.30. Dinner is £4.10, and formal dinner is available twice a week at £8. è Entertainment: 2-3 bops a term (except in the Summer term), an annual Summer ball, speaker events and a special ball for freshers. è Famous Alumni: Fiona Bruce, Jonathan Swift, Evelyn Waugh.

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“An additional thousand pound yearly grant for those on the Oxford Bursary.”


“Hertford… Is that the one with the bridge?” You’ll be able to sense the jealousy which permeates their voice. “Yes,” you’ll answer casually, “but it’s no big deal – I walk across it every day.” And how lucky you are: as long as you’re happy to become one of the most photographed people in Oxford, that is. Although you may pretend otherwise, having unlimited access to a sight as iconic as the Bridge of Sighs is something that never gets dull. That’s just one of the aspects of student-life at Hertford that make it so exciting and enjoyable. The college prides itself on being a haven of informality and progressive thinking, while retaining the ancient traditions and outstanding academic values of Oxford University.

As well as our incredible facilities, our fun–loving students and our friendly staff, Hertford is also a major player in the world of music and sport. Our student–run music society is the biggest of its kind in the university, with a non– auditioning choir, orchestra and jazz band. We punch above our weight on the football, rugby and lacrosse pitches too, as well as in the pool and on the court. All in all, Hertford is a welcoming and enlightened community that has something for everyone. Why would you go anywhere else?

With 3 ‘quads’, a hall at the top of a beautiful spiral staircase, a chapel, a 24/7 library, a fully equipped Junior Common Room (now with gigantic HD projector for all sporting events), a gym and a lodge staffed by Oxford’s best porters, Hertford has all the facilities you could ever want and more. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served Monday to Friday. Although, undoubtedly the best meal of the week is reserved only for weekend hangovers – you can’t beat a Hertford brunch. Hertfordians have a reputation for never missing the chance to go on a night out, no matter what horrors await at 9am the next morning, and our entz team keeps us happy with a number of superb, pun-filled bops throughout the year: think ‘Harry Bopper’ or ‘Bop-ical Rainforest’.

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colleges

Jesus

Turl Street, Oxford, OX1 3DW | 01865 279700 | www.jesus.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 350 è Rent per term: On-site - £1253, and off-site – £972. è Facilities: Accommodation guaranteed for all years. Freshers live on-site, while other years live in college-maintained accommodation. Half of fresher rooms are en suite, the rest share between 2 or 3. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs around £2.50. Lunch costs around £3. Dinner is £3-£3.50, and formal dinner is available 6 times a week at £5.95. è Entertainment: 2 bops per term, a ball every three years (joint with Somerville College), cocktail nights, BBQs, and a college ski trip. è Famous Alumni: T.E. Lawrence, Gwyn Thomas, Siân Lloyd.

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I know all Oxford colleges make bold claims about being nice and inclusive, and I’m sure they are, but only Jesus can boast the official reputation of the friendliest college, as a survey found in 2013. Jesus is renowned for its interyear solidarity and relations, with many traditional Jesus events providing ample opportunity to socialise with other years. So, in this case, anything they can do, we really can do better! Now we already have the friendliest college title sewn up, we should tackle location. Well, rumour has it (a guy once told me) that the Second Quad of Jesus College is the geographical centre of Oxford. In real terms, this means you’re right by the shops, the Bodleian libraries, many departments and anything else you may need. All undergraduates will live in college for the first year, meaning you get to take advantage of all of this. Secondand third-year undergraduates also have accommodation provided so there’s one less thing to worry about when the stresses of final exams call.

fortunes, but we more than hold our own for such a small college, croquet and tiddlywinks. The arts are equally well represented, with plenty of people involved in university-wide societies and activities such as writing for the newspapers or performing in plays. We really are the jacks of all trades, but the masters of none. Enthusiasm is the name of the game. Being such a small college, there are inevitably some limits on what we as a college can do. The food is good if unspectacular, and accommodation is a little expensive, more so after the first year. If a relaxed, friendly, inclusive atmosphere is what you’re after, then Jesus is the place to be.

So Jesus is all looking pretty good so far. Academically, we’re going well too. Sitting pretty in the middle of the college league tables, Jesus students manage to work hard, enjoy themselves and, in some cases, even have time to relax. As far as Oxford goes, this really is the Holy Trinity. If you’re interested in expanding this with ventures into the world of sport or the arts, you’d be in luck too. Sport at Jesus has had some mixed

“Try our bar’s ‘sheep-bite’: we are the Welsh college, after all.” ousu alternative prospectus 43


colleges

Keble

Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PG | 01865 272727 | www.keble.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 433 è Rent per term: £950 - £1250 è Facilities: 2 (usually 3) years guaranteed on-site accommodation. Majority of rooms are en suite, some bathrooms are shared between 2-4. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast and lunch cost between £2-£3. Dinner is served at a formal sitting 6 nights a week for £4.28. è Entertainment: An average of 2 bops per term, an annual ball, and a week-long arts festival. è Famous Alumni: Ed Balls, Giles Coren, Imran Khan.

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With one of the largest and most diverse undergraduate bodies in Oxford, you will always find plenty of people who share your interests at Keble, and the inclusive atmosphere here creates a really welcoming environment for new students. Within its characteristic red brick walls, Keble accommodates the vast majority of its students for the duration of their degrees. Students’ rooms are generally spacious with all the mod cons – a majority even have en-suites. Some rooms are modern, with floor-to-ceiling windows, small kitchenettes and large sofas. Many of the more traditional rooms have recently been refurbished to a high standard and surround Keble’s magnificent quads. Keble’s dining hall is the largest and one of the most beautiful in Oxford. Meal times provide the college community with an opportunity to come together. Although Keble still embraces the tradition of ‘formal hall’ six nights a week, there is no formal dress code; it just means that gowns must be worn for dinner, which serves as a quaint little reminder of the quirks of living in Oxford. During the day, Café Keble serves hot and cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches. Keble Bar is a great social space, frequently accommodating lively bops and offering reasonably priced refreshments. College life is very vibrant, and with numerous student-led societies, getting involved at any level is easy. The college music society and the choir are very

active. Students who want to get involved in the drama scene can do it with ease at Keble; the college has its own on-site theatre, the O’Reilly, which hosts college and university-wide performances. Keble also has a lively JCR, housing video games, a pool table and satellite TV. The JCR Committee is staffed by friendly volunteers eager to help out their fellow students. Keble students are involved in a variety of sports at all levels, from traditional activities such as rugby, rowing and netball, to more modern ones, including dance-sport and Ultimate Frisbee. Keble even has its own on-site gym, but if wide, open space is needed, University Parks is just across the road. Keble is a large college which is active in all areas of university life. The atmosphere of support and inclusivity ensures that students have a truly fantastic university experience, and makes Keble the friendliest, most enjoyable place to live and study in Oxford.

“A gothic red-bricked haven for the sporty, the social, and stage-lovers.”

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colleges

Lady Margaret Hall Norham Gardens, Oxford, OX2 6QA | 01865 274300 | www.lmh.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 450 è Rent per term: £1347 è Facilities: All accommodation is on-site and is supplied for 3 years. There are shared kitchens between around 6-8 people and around 60 percent of rooms are en suite. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs £1.80. Lunch and dinner cost £2.50, and a formal sitting of dinner is available once a week for £8.40. è Entertainment: 3 bops a term, a ball every 3 years, as well as other large social events such as fireworks nights, cross-cultural celebrations and international festivities. è Famous Alumni: Benazir Bhutto, Caryl Churchill, Nigella Lawson.

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LMH is a vibrant college set just beyond the University Parks in Norham Gardens. Although it is often considered a ‘far out’ college, the beautiful gardens and surroundings provide more than fair compensation for the extra distance. Its location does have advantages: LMH is a short walk from G&D’s ice cream shop, the Phoenix Picture House and The Royal Oak pub and, being placed on the River Cherwell, it is an idyllic spot in the summer. Originally founded as a women’s college, LMH now has an even gender balance across students and staff. It is perhaps not surprising that, given its history, there are a number of societies and events organised at LMH aimed at engaging with social issues and social commentary, such as the Hetherington Society (which was launched in May to promote photojournalism and documentary film across Oxford) as well as a small but active LGBTQ society. LMH is very generous with its prizes and it also offers a hardship grant for those experiencing genuine financial difficulties. Welfare is a big part of college life, with JCR Welfare Reps elected annually and trained peer supporters made available, in addition to frequent Welfare Tea and a termly ‘Welfare Week’, which are organised by the JCR. Thanks in part to the recently built Pipe Partridge building, the college supplies undergraduates with accommodation for all three or four years of their course, meaning there is no pressure to find a house and people to live with. Rooms

are laid out in corridors rather than in towering staircases, which makes it very easy to meet new people in Freshers’ Week. LMH is a diverse and, in many ways, an informal college; formal dinners are held weekly, but it is not necessary to wear a gown. The food at LMH is of good quality and there is always a wide choice of food available, including vegetarian options. The library is open 24/7, meaning you always have a quiet place to work. Sport is a big part of life at LMH (but not so big that you can’t avoid it!). There are college teams for rugby, football, netball and cricket. The sports facilities, which include tennis courts and a football pitch, plus a gym, make it easy to take part, leading to success at inter-college tournaments. The LMH drama society is another society with a big presence in college, and plays are regularly shown in the Simpkins Lee Theatre.

“LMH is a short walk from G&D's ice cream shop, the Phoenix Picture House, and The Royal Oak pub.”

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colleges

Lincoln

Turl Street, Oxford, OX1 3DR | 01865 279800 | www.lincoln.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 260 è Rent per term: £1125 è Facilities: Accommodation is guaranteed for three years on-site or very near to it. First- and third-years usually have en-suites. Finalists share kitchens between 6, while first- and second-years have access to kitchenettes. è Library: 8am – 2am è Food: Breakfast costs under £2.50. Lunch normally costs between £2 to £3.80. Dinner costs £4.60, and there are formal sittings every night (except Saturdays)) for the same price. è Entertainment: 2 bops and 1 non-fancy dress party a term, a ball every 2 years, and other events such as Turl Street Arts Festival. è Famous Alumni: Eve Best, John le Carré, Dr Seuss.

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Small but perfectly formed, Lincoln is beautifully bedecked in ivy, boasting one of the prettiest libraries in Oxford, in the impressive setting of a former church. But, of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

you’ll soon be on first-name terms with local kebab van owner and honorary Lincoln JCR member, Hassan – but it also creates a strong community spirit.

Being one of the smallest colleges, you’ll get to know almost everyone at Lincoln One of the best bits about the college is while you’re here, and what really sets it our basement bar, Deep Hall. Not only is it apart from other colleges is that everyone big enough to be used for bops and other gets involved in all aspects of college events organised by the college student life. We’ve got all the usual, and not so committee, but it is open every weekday usual, sports teams for all abilities, plus for cheap lunches and cheap drinks in free membership to the Iffley Road gym, the evening served by Simon the barman. and Lincolnites are well-represented And, although you won’t get access to a across university-wide societies from full kitchen until third year, eating in hall a capella groups to the student papers. is a convenient and sociable alternative However, no other college can boast the to attempting a microwave masterpiece, coveted JCR positions of First Sea Lord with the option of a normal or a formal (complete with a real sword), Cookie sitting each night. Our food is notoriously Fairy, and Comedy Secretary – not to delicious whilst remaining relatively mention our very own charity, VacProj, cheap – lunch in particular is always which is entirely student-run and takes great. disadvantaged local children on holiday each year. Accommodation is organised by ballot, with half of the first-years living in college and half in the (newly refurbished and en-suited) buildings directly opposite. The admittedly fairly grim second-year accommodation is made more bearable by the fact you’re with the rest of your year, and you’ll develop a certain attachment to its wonky floors and labyrinthine layout. Finalists live in much nicer and more modern collegeowned houses in Museum Road. The fact that everyone can live on-site for all three years not only makes life a lot easier: you’re always within walking distance of the essentials – speaking of which,

“A hidden gem with a basement bar and an incredibly close student population.”

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colleges

Magdalen

High Street, Oxford, OX1 4AU | 01865 276000 | www.magd.ox.ac.uk Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 383 è Rent per term: £1260 è Facilities: Accommodation guaranteed for entirety of degree. Freshers normally live in annexe off-site. Each staircase has a kitchen and bathrooms are normally shared between 4-6. Almost all rooms in off-site accommodation are en suite. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast is less than £2.50. Lunch is between £2-£3. Dinner is around £3.50, and formal sittings are three times a week and cost either £6.50 or £9. è Entertainment: Around 3 bops per term, 1 or 2 Summer garden parties, and a ball every 3 years. è Famous Alumni: Louis Theroux, Erwin Schrödinger, Oscar Wilde.

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“Did we mention that we have deer?”


When I first visited Magdalen, I couldn’t believe that students were actually allowed to live in its buildings, and even now, when I walk around its beautiful and imposing grounds, I often struggle to restrain a gasp at my luck at somehow ending up here. When you’re feeling a bit stressed out, there is nothing more calming than wandering around Addison’s Walk, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to while away afternoons together. Perhaps the most famous feature of the college is its deer park, which many of the rooms overlook; what could be nicer than having a wildlife reserve outside your window? The deer are a popular attraction for tourists and students alike, especially on sunny days. In summer, the grass next to the park becomes a croquet lawn, as well as a popular site for dinners al fresco.

permanent students. The bar can seem a little deserted, but it’s always packed out when there’s an event on, such as a bop, a music evening or a quiz night. Magdalen has many active sports teams (of varying abilities), a world-renowned men’s choir, and an amateur choir – not to mention its acclaimed drama society, which puts on an outdoor play in the idyllic President’s Garden every summer. The JCR has a generous budget, and what isn’t spent on pizza to lure students to meetings is put towards charity events, outreach programmes and college parties. So, come and embrace Magdalen’s tradition and its stunning architecture. Breathe in the history embedded here, and enjoy the magic for yourself.

Magdalen’s considerable size means students, in most cases, are guaranteed on-site accommodation throughout their degree, so you will always be bumping into friendly faces as everybody is based in college. You may find Magdalen has a reputation amongst students at other colleges for being ‘stuck-up’ or ‘too hard-working’, and you may also discover that it’s quite enjoyable to prove people’s preconceptions wrong, as they are usually false. On the whole, Magdalen students are really friendly. Many are highly active in access and outreach programmes, and exchange students from Stanford integrate well with the

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colleges

Mansfield

Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TF | 01865 270999 | www.mansfield.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 220 è Rent per term: £1078 è Facilities: First-years and half of third-years guaranteed accommodation on-site; rest of thirdyears live in off-site accommodation, ten minutes away; and second-year students live in privately rented houses. Most first-years have en-suites. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast is around £2. Lunch and dinner cost around £4 each. Formal dinner is £9.40 and is available twice a week. è Entertainment: 2 bops a term, a ball every 3 years, and other events from champagne and chocolate evenings to eating competitions. è Famous Alumni: BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Adam Curtis, and BBC News reporter Justin Rowlatt.

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Mansfield was founded in 1886 to train Nonconformist ministers, and this bulwark against tradition remains in a number of ways today. For example, in recent years, Mansfield has admitted the highest percentage of state-school students of any Oxford colleges. Indeed, the prevailing feeling upon first seeing Mansfield College is openness. Given that our quad is not hidden behind large college doors, this may seem like an obvious statement. However, the openness so evident visually is a perfect representation of college life. As one of the smallest colleges, we are known for our supportive and close-knit community. Furthermore, our location is just enough out of the way not to be disturbed by tourists but still close to town. Logistics aside, something that makes Mansfield really special is the student body which is constantly looking to better it. Alongside the sociable mixing of all years, we have a fantastic JCR bench with lots of peer support. Despite popular myths, Oxford isn’t all about working and our entertainment reps make sure there is always something to entertain Mansfield students – from providing club tickets to organising bops, they keep us busy. A good deal of socialising happens in our JCR, which is equipped with television, pool and a game show machine. Apart from the students, you’re also likely to see our adopted black and white cat Erasmus wandering about college as well as staff that are always happy to help.

Mansfield also has a very active involvement in sports and societies on collegiate level. In sports, we have thriving rowing, rugby, hockey, netball, and even Quidditch teams. We have plenty of involvement in student societies such as journalism, gender equality, drama, choir and poetry. Our food is often considered among the best in Oxford, with at least four options for each meal – including the student favourite: carvery every Sunday. Despite being one of the university’s newest colleges, we retain the beautiful architecture and traditions of Oxford life. From candle-lit formal dinners in our historic chapel to working in our beautiful main library under the careful watch of portraits, you will become totally immersed in this warm and welcoming community.

“Such a tight-knit and friendly bunch that we’ve been adopted by a stray cat!”

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colleges

Merton

Merton Street, Oxford, OX1 4JD | 01865 276310 | www.merton.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 300 è Rent per term: £1036 /£1097 è Facilities: On-site, as well as some nearby off-site accommodation, guaranteed for the entirety of undergraduate degree. Most rooms on-site are en suite; communal bathrooms shared between 4. There are some communal kitchens on-site. è Library: 8am – 2am è Food: Breakfast is £1.79. Buffet lunch is £3.24. Dinner is £4, and a formal sitting is available 6 times a week at the same price. è Entertainment: 2-4 bops per term, a ball every 3 years, and other events such as Mertonbury (a live music garden party) and the Time Ceremony. è Famous Alumni: Sir Roger Bannister, T.S. Eliot, J.R.R. Tolkien.

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With a strong sense of its 750-year old history, and a strong academic reputation, Merton is a wonderful place to spend your time in Oxford. Its friendly community and many facilities ensure Merton has much more to offer than just top results. The central location is one of its greatest benefits, with the college being conveniently close to Examination Schools, the Bodleian Library and the shopping centre of town. However, students may be delayed by swathes of tourists visiting Merton to observe the location of many unfortunate demises from ‘Lewis’ or ‘Inspector Morse’.

a highlight of our social calendar, and throughout the week, our college bar is warm and welcoming. One of Merton’s more unusual social events is its annual Time Ceremony, in which Mertonians do their part to maintain the space-time continuum when the clocks ‘go back’. This perhaps bizarre ritual is one of the many traditions that make studying here such a unique experience.

Undoubtedly, Merton’s most popular feature is its food; with the friendliest hall staff in all of Oxford and an excellent reputation for cheap, delicious food, Merton is a delightful place to eat, drink and be merry. The small and friendly community of Merton is a wonderful Merton makes the most of its beautiful place to spend your degree, and students gardens; the ‘Merton Floats’ successfully become a family very quickly. exploit both these and the atmospheric Chapel for their bi-annual drama productions. The thirteenth century Chapel features interiors by Christopher Wren; it also hosts an active church choir which regularly features in the classical music charts. The college community has strong links with the Chapel; however, the wider welfare system is very popular; weekly ‘Welfare Teas’ see students from all years popping along for a piece of cake and a place to chat about any and all issues.

“Space-time protecters who bop fortnightly, quaff powerpints and live centrally!”

While Merton had a considerably negative reputation for social activity in the past, this has been overturned in recent years with an ‘entz’ (entertainment) team determined to subvert the stereotype. Joint JCR/MCR fancy-dress bops are

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colleges

New

Holywell Street, Oxford, OX1 3BN | 01865 279500 | www.new.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 420 è Rent per term: £1230 è Facilities: On-site (and some nearby offsite) accommodation provided for 3, but not 4, years. More than half of rooms on-site are ensuite; the rest share between 2-4. Access to communal kitchens. è Library: 8am-12am è Food: Breakfast costs around £1.50-£2. Lunch is £3.50. Dinner is £6.11, and a formal sitting is available 5 nights a week for the same price. è Entertainment: Average of 3 bops a term, a ball every 3 years, and other events such as a garden party and a boat party in London. è Famous Alumni: Kate Beckinsale, Hugh Grant, Rageh Omaar.

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Don’t be deceived by the name. New College is far from ‘new’. When it was built in 1379, it had the capacity to teach more students than all the existing colleges put together. Now, New College is just another college. As they say, there are more similarities than differences between the Oxford colleges; however, it’s pretty amazing to be in the only college that contains the old city wall; Oxford’s only Mound; and the cloisters where Malfoy gets turned into a ferret in the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The choir is famous in its own right, and a number of alumni and fellows are household names. New College is one of the larger colleges, both physically and in terms of students. The main advantage of going to a large college is down to simple probability: if there are more people you are more likely to meet more friends! However, despite its large population, secrets are generally impossible to keep within the realms of New College. (One thing to watch out for is ‘The Newt’, the fortnightly gossip magazine.) Also, having a large student body means that New has college teams for pretty much every sport, with a ‘casual’ as well as a ‘serious’ team for more popular sports like football and hockey. We tend to win athletics competitions almost every year due to sheer force of numbers!

that every room has a fridge, it’s never a huge issue. Furthermore, with the ATS (Alternative Tuck Shop) around the corner to supply bagels at all times of the day, there’s always food on offer. The tutors are undeniably awesome. Every year, students at New achieve some of the best grades in the university. However, we try to party as hard as we work, with fortnightly bops (college parties), the annual boat party, and our renowned white-tie Commemoration ball every three years. On any given night, there will always be a solid contingent of people going out, but equally lots of people happy to stay in and work, chat or just chill. The college’s motto, ‘Manners Maketh Man’, sums up the atmosphere accurately. This is not about table manners but a genuine respect between students, tutors and the college staff.

The first-year accommodation is extremely luxurious – about 90 percent of the rooms are en suite, and many are disproportionately huge or contain double beds. The main drawback for freshers is that there are no kitchens, but given

“Fantastic for sport and music.”

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colleges

Oriel

Oriel Square, Oxford, OX1 4EW | 01865 276555 | www.oriel.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 320 è Rent per term: £977-£1320 è Facilities: First- and second-years guaranteed accommodation on-site but some off-site accommodation is provided. More than half of rooms are en suite; others share a bathroom between 2-3. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast between £2-£3. Lunch is £3.35. Dinner is £4.55, and a formal sitting is available 6 days a week for £5. è Entertainment: 2-3 bops per term, a ball every 3 years, and other events such as a garden party and regular socials. è Famous Alumni: Conservative MEP Dan Hannan, Sir Walter Raleigh, historian Michael Wood.

“Annual pancake race and an honest tuck shop open 24/7.”

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Over the centuries, Oriel has housed a multitude of greats, including statesman and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, poet and social commentator Matthew Arnold, and ‘Countdown’ maths-whizz, Rachel Riley. Even if you don’t have your heart set on a career in any of these professions, Oriel’s a great place to study, located at the heart of the city centre. Oriel is a fairly small college – though it prefers ‘cosy’. Nevertheless, it punches above its weight in terms of facilities. Oriel offers accommodation for up to four years, and a tiered room-grading system allows students to decide the price of their room. The college has a 24-hour library, surprisingly useful for moments of last-minute inspiration (and desperation). There is also a music room where students can practise instruments, and a common room where students can practise video games. The college also provides ample laundry facilities and a cheap, well-used bar. Oriel is fully catered, and though there are fewer kitchens than in some other colleges, it means that students can eat high-quality cooked food three times a day if they wish (vegetarian options are available). Subsidised three-course formal dinners are held six times a week at Oriel for around £5 a person, preceded by the less opulent £4.50 informal hall most nights.

including Olympic medal-winner Pete Reed. Many students row and use the college’s gym, but if you’re unlikely to stray anywhere near a rowing machine – let alone a rowing boat – Oriel offers a range of conventional and alternative sports, including rugby, football, netball, Ultimate (Frisbee), croquet and fancydress rounders. Oriel also has its own punts to take onto the river for a small fee. For less athletically-endowed students, there are many other activities available, including a choir which sings in Oriel’s beautiful historic chapel, a humorous college newspaper, various religious groups, an active music society and a range of dramatic activities. The handsome architecture, supportive welfare team and central situation of Oriel are good foundations, but it’s the student body which decides the overall atmosphere of a college. Oriel’s student body is just the right size to foster a welcoming and comfortable environment for its undergraduates.

Oriel is known for its sporting achievements, and its well-funded boathouse attracts top-quality rowers,

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colleges

Pembroke

Pembroke Square, Oxford, OX1 1DW | 01865 276444 | www.pmb.ox.ac.uk Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 400 è Rent per term: £913 - £1542 è Facilities: First-years and second-years live on-site; finalists live in an annexe offsite. Most of the rooms on-site are en-suite. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs around £2. Lunch costs £3-4. Dinner is £5.54, and a formal sitting is available 3 times a week for the same price. è Entertainment: 4 bops per term, a ball every 2 years, and other events including a carol-singing college-bar-crawl called ‘The Three Kings’. è Famous Alumni: Patience Agbabi, Samuel Johnson, PM of Hungary Viktor Orbán.

“Pembroke dominates the river, celebrates in style and recovers with its neighbour: Oxford-famous ice cream shop G&D’s.” 60

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Pembroke is one of the most upbeat colleges in Oxford. But what makes us so chipper? Is it our college colour, pink; our incredible rowing prowess; or the beauty of our chapel quad? Perhaps, but there’s much more to Pembroke than that. We’re very well located in central Oxford, hidden away just behind G&D’s (the best ice cream in Oxford) and opposite Christ Church College. This means that we’re ideally located for meeting your various shopping needs, for satisfying late-night ice cream cravings or for taking trips to one of the many libraries in central Oxford. The faculties for Sciences and for some Humanities subjects are further away, but are only a 20-minute walk away at most. Pembroke is quite strong academically. It teaches most of the major subjects, but also supports more smaller ‘fringe’ courses like Oriental Studies. In addition to our excellent tutors, one major advantage to Pembroke is our library. If you couldn’t face that short walk to the Bodleian, Radcliffe Science Library or the Taylorian (and it’s 2am and they’re all shut anyway), our well-stocked college library is open 24/7, making it ideal for your late-night essay crises.

– as I said, rowing is very popular here, but if you prefer drier sports, we also excel in rugby and netball. Our fortnightly college Junior Common Room meetings are well attended (coincidentally, there’s free pizza on offer) and the meetings allow the whole undergraduate body to vote on things that affect them – whether it’s to allocate funds to set up a brewing society or electing the new Pink Panther (our mascot), there’s always a wonderful buzz around them. Then, there’s the college facilities themselves. With the completion of the ‘New Build’ (a development that means more student rooms, a big auditorium, and a new café), accommodation is now guaranteed for three years, with en-suites in over half of the rooms. And, whilst the food may be variable in quality, the copious amounts of fatty foods that you can consume at the lavish weekend Brunch make up for it.

There’s an abundance of musical opportunities, too: the friendly chapel choir, singing at weekly Sunday services followed by sherry and dinner; the annual college musical; and ‘Three Kings’, a tradition that involves carolling round other colleges. But we’re hardly sedentary

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colleges

Queen’s

High St, Oxford, OX1 4AW | 01865 279120 | www.queens.ox.ac.uk

Fact File

“Home to what student food critics call ‘the best college lunch’ in Oxford.” 62

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è Undergraduates: 360 è Rent per term: £1178 è Facilities: Accommodation is provided for all years on-site or in annexes. Half the rooms are en suite. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs less than £1. Lunch is less than £3. Dinner is £3.93, and a formal sitting is available once a week for £6.50. è Entertainment: 3-4 bops per term, a ball every 3 years, and other events such as garden parties and an annual outdoor musical. è Famous Alumni: Rowan Atkinson, inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, Edmund Halley.


To outsiders from the college, I’ve always explained Queen’s as “the one the bus leaves from”, as the Oxford Tube stops right outside its doors (which is pretty convenient when you’re coming from London). Needless to say there’s a whole heap more to the college than that. Like every student ever, I was nervous when I arrived and I didn’t know what to expect. I discovered that Queen’s is a remarkably pretty college with good food and a truly fantastic college community. The students are from all sorts of weird and wonderful backgrounds, and there’s an executive committee made up of students whose task is to make your life at Oxford as pleasant as possible.

happens in two sittings, at 6.30pm and 7.15pm – this consists of a roll, a main course and pudding, and is a fixed price of around £3.50. The difference between the sittings is that the second one is a bit more Brideshead: it’s preceded by a trumpet call (no, really) and a Latin grace, and you have to wear your academic gown. That’s one of the quirky things about a college that is otherwise pretty normal. And, for those of you looking to take in the traditional Oxford aesthetic, we’re just a three-minute stroll from the renowned Radcliffe Camera.

There is a strong sporting tradition in the college: the rugby team (the “Invincibles”) was undefeated in the 2012-13 season; the rowing club has met with many successes (as rowers will tell you, and tell you frequently); and the Queen’s/St Hilda’s hockey team is always one of the strongest university-wide. The musical scene is pretty great too: the chapel choir is one of the best mixed choirs in Oxford, and the Egelsfield Music Society puts on some fantastic concerts. Outside of organised fun, there is a wonderful, energetic atmosphere in the college – there’s always someone ready to have fun, and all the years interact. The college as a whole is pretty 24/7 – the library is certainly open all night, although the upper floor is shut – but this is mostly because of the ghosts… The food is pretty decent, too. Dinner

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colleges

Regent’s Park

PPH

Pusey St, Oxford, OX1 2LB | 01865 288120 | www.rpc.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 100 è Rent per term: £1100 è Facilities: On-site accommodation supplied for first- and final-year students. Half of rooms are en suite; bathrooms are shared between 2-3. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast is between £1.30-£2.40. Lunch is £3.35. Dinner is £3.95, and a formal sitting is available every Friday for £7.70. è Entertainment: 2 bops per term, an annual ball, weekly college socials, and a birthday party for the college’s tortoise. è Famous Alumni: R.T. Kendall, Jane Shaw, Michael Symmons Roberts.

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Regent’s Park is Oxford’s best-kept secret. Tucked away off St Giles Street and only a five-minute walk to the city centre, Regent’s is a Permanent Private Hall (PPH). What on earth is a PPH?! Well, it’s pretty much exactly the same as any other college, only smaller and specialising in the Humanities. Regent’s boasts a small undergraduate body of about 100 students, meaning you really get to know everyone and will be hard pushed to find a closer-knit community. The college is also home to many American visiting students every year, and has a strong MCR (graduate) body. In Regent’s, ‘brew’ is served every day at 11am and 4pm. It’s a great time for students to come together and take a break and basically means free tea and biscuits twice a day!

food! Regent’s is far from a ‘stuck up’ place. In the summer, you can walk/lie/ sleep/eat on the grass, play croquet and drink Pimm’s in the beautiful quad. If you want constant formality, you definitely won’t find it at Regent’s! Every Friday is formal hall. Unlike other colleges, most of whom have multiple formal dinners a week, by having just one a week Regent’s students actually attend and it’s a great way for staff and students to end the week. Oh, and Regent’s boasts the cheapest bar in Oxford – don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. At £1.50 a beer and £1 a shot, you can’t go wrong.

The oldest college member is Emmanuelle – the college tortoise. She regularly enters the Corpus Christi Race and always does well – despite being about 100 (nobody’s quite sure how old she really is). Regent’s is strong in sport and, on top of that, the college has a remarkable presence on the Oxford drama and music scenes – particularly for such a small college – with members of college being involved in all sides of production. Regent’s is one of the only colleges left to boast waiter-served lunches and dinners (and at incredibly low prices). You can get a three-course dinner for about £3.50! Tutors, staff and fellows all sit alongside students and eat the same

“Originally located in London, Regent’s is now one of Oxford’s most thriving communities.”

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colleges

St Anne’s

56 Woodstock Rd, Oxford, OX2 6HS | 01865 274800 | www.st-annes.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 425 è Rent per term: £1154 - £1208 è Facilities: All rooms have access to kitchen facilities. Nearly half of rooms are en suite; all first–year rooms have shared bathroom and toilet facilities, although some have their own sink. On-site accommodation provided for the duration of most students’ degrees. è Food : Weekdays, breakfast for £1-£2, lunch and dinner for £2.50-£3.50. STACS (St Annes’ Coffee Shop) is open 7 days a week. Formal dinners are five times a term. è Famous Alumni: Edwina Currie, Penelope Lively, Hadley Freeman.

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St. Anne’s? So where exactly is that, then? A question every ‘Stanner’ gets pretty used to answering, because StAnne’s is a bit unusual. It’s never been on an episode of ‘Morse’, we hardly ever wear gowns, and we don’t live in draughty towers, but rather in cute little converted Victorian houses or the super-modern Ruth Deech building, with its balconies and built-in storage space.

In fact, wherever you go in college you end up bumping into people – whether eating in hall (everyone loves brunch at the weekend, and the food at formal halls is always delicious) or playing pool or table football in the common room (which has giant beanbags and a widescreen TV) – because all undergraduates are guaranteed on-site accommodation for the whole of their degree.

Music is big here: the college choir is fun and non-auditioning, there’s a college swing band, an open orchestra and practice rooms available for anyone to use, as well as regular open mic nights in the bar and classical recitals in the Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre (known to all as the MOLT).

But what about that location? Well, go out of the back gate, and you’re across the road from University Parks and the sciences area, and it’s only five minutes’ walk to Jericho, where all of the best bars, restaurants and cafés in Oxford are. And if you need to get somewhere quickly, St Anne’s has its own version of Boris bikes: we really have got everything!

If you’re into sports, you’re sure to find something. There are rowing teams ranging from the serious to the complete novices, as well as football, hockey, netball and just about everything else too. The gym has recently been refurbished, and we’re just five minutes away from Port Meadow, perfect for morning (or evening, or middle-of-the-day) runs. The library has so many books that some of them are ‘shelved’ on the floor. It’s open 24/7, and if you can’t bear to work in there, then you can always go to STACS: St Anne’s very own coffee shop. It’s wonderfully cheap, with WiFi, sofas and the guarantee that you’ll find someone to procrastinate with.

“St Anne’s coffee shop is cheaper and better than any Starbucks!”

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colleges

St Benet’s Hall

ALL PPH MALE

38 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LN | 01865 280556 | www.st-benets.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 50 è Rent per term: £1320 (average) è Facilities: On-site accommodation guaranteed for one year but major plans of renovation may increase this number. Bathrooms are normally shared by 3 people but currently 40 percent of rooms en suite. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Meals are charged altogether and this includes breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. Undergraduates living in pay £11.16, and those living out pay £6.91. Formal dinner is three times a week. è Entertainment: 2 bops per term, one JCR Party (150 - 200 people), among other events. è Famous Alumni: Simon Halliday and Basil Hume.

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Through the door of 38 St Giles’ Street seeps an atmosphere of warmth, hospitality and academia. More than any other institution within Oxford, St Benet’s Hall resembles the old traditional halls of study that were first set up when the university was founded. As well as being small and homely, St Benet’s is the tallest building on St Giles, giving it one of the finest views in Oxford. The Hall is proud of its ethos of generosity and hospitality. Beer is provided for undergraduates at regular common-room meetings and a large party is hosted at the end of each term – all for free. Students here soon become accustomed to fine dining and good company; guests are frequently invited to one of the three formal meals every week. These are preceded by sherry and canapés and followed by coffee, which, in summer, is served in the beautiful garden with an accompanying round of croquet. As well as breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Hall provides tea from 3pm every day.

indolent. The student experience is very successful, both academically and throughout the extra-curricular activities on offer in the university. In recent years, the rowing team has consistently punched above its weight, beating boats from colleges with ten times the number of students. Current undergraduates are active in all parts of student life, from politics to drama to other societies. St Benet’s also boasts members who have represented the university in rugby, karate, football and golf. One of St Benet’s particular strengths is its common table. There is no high table (usually reserved for academic and administrative staff), which means that first-year undergraduates often find themselves sitting next to esteemed academics. This ensures a closer relationship with the senior members of the Hall, and particularly one’s tutors, than in many other colleges. St Benet’s will not just be your Hall for three years – it will be your home.

As an institution that is funded by the Benedictine community, there are several monks studying at St Benet’s. The community is certainly strengthened by living with the monks, who play a key role in the life of the Hall. It may seem odd at first, but you’ll quickly find that they’re not only very normal people, but are also incredibly interesting, kind and accommodating. Despite the small number of undergraduates, St Benet’s is far from

“You get to make friends with monks!”

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colleges

St Catherine’s

Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UJ | 01865 271700 | www.stcatz.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 469 è Rent per term: £1207.61 è Facilities: Each staircase has a kitchenette. Second-years have ensuite accommodation while others share a bathroom between 10. On-site accommodation is guaranteed for all undergraduates. è Library: Mon-Fri: 8am-12am. Sat-Sun: 9am-12am. è Food: Breakfast costs around £2.30. Lunch and dinner costs £3.95. è Famous Alumni: Joseph Heller, Peter Mandelson, Jeanette Winterson.

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With its striking Functionalist architecture, suburban atmosphere, and relaxed policy on gowns, St Catherine’s College, or Catz, is truly deserving of its subversive reputation. Although at first glance its concrete-and-glass façade might seem to lack the charm of its more traditional cousins, its convenient location, spacious grounds and vibrant social calendar make the young college one of Oxford’s best kept secrets. Bordered by playing fields and nestled among the green foliage of the University Parks, Catz is a deceptively short walk from the centre of Oxford (read: libraries, lectures, and nightlife) and is ideally placed for Humanities students, with the English, Law and Social Sciences Libraries right on their doorstep. Scientists, fear not – a brief and pleasant walk along the Cherwell brings you to the doors of the Maths Faculty building and the Radcliffe Science Library. Whether you choose to cycle or not, at Catz nowhere is far away.

the same eccentric architect to come up with ‘the Egg chair’, Catz students are a quirky bunch. A variety of unusual and entertaining activities are on offer to help you unwind after studying. Fancy-dress dodgeball games, regular open-mic nights and inter-year subject soirées are just a taste of the colourful, highspirited social life that lies behind Arne Jacobsen’s walls. However, as the college which has produced more Nobel Laureates than any other, and boasts alumni including rowing legend Sir Matthew Pinsent and actress Emilia Fox, Catz students clearly work as hard as they play. Regular prize-givings and the annual scholars’ dinner offer incentives for academic achievement. So if you’re looking for something just a little out of the ordinary, where tradition meets innovation, Catz just might be the place for you!

College rooms are light and spacious, and accommodation is provided for all three years of undergraduate life, eliminating the hassle and expense of renting off-site housing. It also allows students to take advantage of the excellent hall service in college. Meals are very affordable and of high quality, and special dishes are served for holidays and festivals. As you might expect from a college that – from the walls to the cutlery to the fish in the moat – was designed by

“Oxford 2.0: Feels like a hotel, not a castle.“

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colleges

St Edmund Hall Queen’s Lane, Oxford, OX1 4AR | 01865 279000 | www.seh.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 420 è Rent per term: £1279 è Facilities: On-site accommodation guaranteed for all first-years and for some third-years. Third- and fourth-year students may live in an off-site annexe. 80 percent of rooms on-site are en suite. Kitchenettes are on nearly every floor. è Library: Hours vary throughout the year from 8.30am-1am to 8.30am- 3am è Food: Breakfast is £2.35. Lunch is £1-£3. Dinner is £4.70. Formal dinner is available twice a week for £11.75. è Entertainment: Average of 2 bops a term held in dining hall, a ball every 2 years, and other regular social events. è Famous Alumni: Journalist Samira Ahmed, comedians Terry Jones and Stewart Lee.

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The first thing to learn about St. Edmund Hall is that its real name is Teddy Hall. Although we have lots of undergraduates, we are on a smallish site – not great if you want long solitary walks in the college grounds, but this high concentration of students makes it a vibrant place where you can’t help but meet people. Despite its size, our site, right at the heart of Oxford, doesn’t lack beauty. It’s got one of the prettiest front quads in Oxford, and our library is a converted Norman church, which comes with its own graveyard. The summer term sees it fill up with picnickers, sunbathers and the occasional finalist sitting against a headstone revising. I know it sounds creepy, but you get used to it pretty quickly! We’re definitely a college to consider if you enjoy throwing yourself into lots of extra-curricular activities. Upholding a proud tradition in sport, we are currently champions in rugby, canoe polo and badminton, and have more sports teams than it is practical to name. Another strong Hall tradition is in writing endeavours – whether it is journalistic, comedic or dramatic! Extra-curricular writing workshops are the perfect place to hone your skills and let loose your inner creativity, with regular contributions from alumni writers! Also, our music director organises lunchtime concerts and our chapel choir recently toured France. Drama is also popular, with the college’s drama society recently

putting on plays in Cameroon and at the Edinburgh Festival! We host an annual exhibition of students’ art at Teddy Hall ArtWeek. A special ‘Hall Spirit’ runs throughout all of these activities: a product of our unique character. Accommodation is usually provided for all but one year. Rent is slightly higher than average, but a rent freeze last year (worth about £130 per person) is a demonstration of the college’s willingness to make itself more financially accessible to all students. Teddy Hall had a reputation for awful food – and I can confirm that this was well-founded – but the hiring of a new chef 3 years ago has revolutionised Hall food, and we now boast some of the tastiest dinners in Oxford! One of the highlights of the culinary calendar is the Christmas dinner, another event at which Hall Spirit is evident: It culminates in the singing of “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” by students and fellows standing on chairs!

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colleges

St Hilda’s

Cowley Place, Oxford, OX4 1DY | 01865 276884 | www.sthildas.ox.ac.uk Fact File

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è Undergraduates: 395 è Rent per term: £1197 - £1314 è Facilities: Accommodation guaranteed for first and final years. First-years share kitchens and bathrooms between 12-14. This number is lower for finalists. è Library: Sun-Thurs 8.30am-1am; Fri 8.30am – 12am; Saturday 9am-11pm. è Food: Breakfast and lunch cost around £2£3.50. Dinner costs around £3.50. About once a week, a formal dinner is available for £9. è Entertainment: 3 bops a term, an annual ball, and other events such as the Hilda’s Festival which celebrates gender equality, hosting notable speakers. è Famous Alumni: Wendy Cope, Helen Gardner, Kate Millett.

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Perched on the banks of the River Cherwell, a ten-minute walk away from the centre of town, St Hilda’s occupies one of the most enviable spots in Oxford. Not only is it arguably among the most good-natured of colleges, it also enjoys an amazing history of empowering minorities. Set up as an all-female college, which it remained until 2008, St Hilda’s now welcomes an equal number of men and women.

awhich St Hilda’s students receive free membership. Our sports teams do well across the board at university level and beyond, especially in hockey, lacrosse, and rowing.

What St Hilda’s lacks in terms of ancient buildings and battlements, it more than makes up for in its gorgeous gardens – the perfect place to work in the summer term – and its relaxed atmosphere. We have none of that ‘Keep Off The Grass!’ nonsense here at Hilda’s, thank you very much! Most of the buildings are Victorian and many have fantastic views over the river and meadows, but there’s also accommodation in the über-modern Christina Barrett Building (en-suites, yes please!). And that’s not to mention the state-of-the-art music and drama facilities – free for all Hildabeasts – in the famous Jacqueline du Pré music building.

The college bar and buttery (café) are completely student-run, offering students the chance to earn some extra cash during term-time. The JCR Bar itself has just undergone an enormous refurbishment, hugely increasing its capacity, which used to be particularly problematic come the end-of-term party (fondly known as ‘Drink the Bar Dry’), an event attended by almost every Hildabeast, as well as students from other colleges. In a nutshell, St Hilda’s students are fiercely proud to be members of such a vibrant, open, and diverse community.

St Hilda’s has an excellent academic reputation and students are encouraged to explore every aspect of their subject; the college provides generous travel grants and other support to this end.

There’s also a lively bunch of student societies which organise unmissable events throughout the year, including a termly student-run drama production; Arts Week; Queer Cabaret; and the Hilda’s Festival, which welcomes worldrenowned speakers for a week-long celebration of gender equality. The college is also at a very handy distance from the University Sports Centre,

“A friendly and laid-back college situated in a beautiful river-side setting.”

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colleges

St Hugh’s

St Margaret’s Rd, Oxford, OX2 6LE | 01865 274900 | www.st-hughs.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 432 è Rent per term: £1259 è Facilities: On-site accommodation supplied for entirety of undergraduate degree. Half of rooms are en suite; communal bathrooms are shared between 4. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast is £1.50. Lunch and dinner are £2.70 each. Formal dinners are available once a week for £8.20. è Entertainment: 4 bops a term, a ball every 2 years, and other social events. è Famous Alumni: G. E. M. Anscombe, Aung San Suu Kyi, Joanna Trollope.

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“Spend summers lazing on the best grounds in Oxford.”


Frankly, St Hugh’s is a great college. You might hear it said that it is somewhere stranded between Oxford and Birmingham, but in truth, it has a uniquely bucolic location. Nestled in the leafy Edwardian suburb of North Oxford, it can justifiably claim to have the best of both worlds, far enough away from the tourists, but close enough to the city centre – it’s just a fifteen-minute walk or a five-minute cycle. St Hugh’s is a relatively young college, being one of the nineteenth-century foundations. As such, it has no quads, but a mixture of period buildings; the jewel in the crown is its huge art deco library. St Hugh’s is proud of its heritage as a former ladies’ college; it attracts some of the world’s best female academics and boasts such bastions of democracy as Aung San Suu Kyi and Theresa May as alumni. Population-wise, St Hugh’s is a large college with a diverse undergraduate body and a history of a higher than average proportion of stateschool educated students taking up places here.

college bar has a great atmosphere with amazing fancy dress parties! We are also developing a reputation for charitable and dramatic societies. Our principal Elish Angiolini enjoys the same reputation as the Queen within the college, often to be seen dispensing her Scottish munificence. The college is also the site of the new university China Centre, which will bring a smart new building with another library, lecture theatre and more accommodation for the 2014 student intake. If our college was a Hogwarts house, it would probably be Hufflepuff: very friendly, very good food, and surrounded by plants.

Despite our large student population, we are fortunate to be able to live in for the duration of our degrees, though this is not compulsory. Rooms vary in quality but have a standardised price, roughly half have en-suites, with all sharing kitchens in communal bliss. St. Hugh’s has a very vibrant sports scene, with football and darts being the most successful,. This means that our

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colleges

St John’s

St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JP | 01865 277300 | www.sjc.ox.ac.uk

Û

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è Undergraduates: 393 è Rent per term: £838 - £980 è Facilities: All undergraduates are guaranteed accommodation on-site. Bathrooms and kitchens are shared between five but this number should be lower for finalists, many of whom have en-suites. è Library: 9am-12am è Food: Breakfast and lunch are both about £2.60. Dinner is £3.47, and there is a formal dinner available 6 times a week for 25p extra. è Entertainment: About 4 bops a term, a ball every 3 years, and other events such as talks, special dinners and concerts. è Famous Alumni: Tony Blair, Victoria CorenMitchell, Philip Larkin.

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is laidback, and Johnians get involved within college and in university-wide activities. Rowing is very popular – most students give it a go as novices. The college has teams in all the major sports, and its onsite squash courts and gyms are free for all undergraduates to use. On the artistic side, alongside the chapel choir, the Music Society organises free Located in the town centre, St John’s professional concerts, and practice has embraced every architectural trend rooms are kitted out with pianos and from the fifteenth century onwards, band equipment. The college has a ranging from cloisters and gargoyles drama society (the St John’s Mummers) to twenty-first century eco-greenery. while ‘SJC TV’ provides access to film The beautiful and extensive gardens are and recording equipment and editing refreshingly informal and full of quiet corners. Come summer, the whole college software. turns out to sprawl on the lawns for For evenings in, the bar is home to tutorials and picnics. St John’s feels like music nights and provides fantastic a home rather than a tourist attraction, homemade pizzas. The TV room offers a a feeling reinforced by the fact that undergraduates live in college throughout full range of channels and a collection of their course. There are two supermarkets DVDs and Xbox games. on your doorstep, the science If St John’s were a pudding, it would be a departments lie just behind the college, generous sticky toffee confection: warm, and the Taylor Institution for Modern and comforting. Languages is just across St Giles. St John’s has three claims to notoriety: its wealth, size, and academic success. Look behind the reputation, and what you’ll find is a friendly, inclusive, downto-earth community, which prides itself on its diversity and commitment to access.

The college devotes its substantial endowment towards looking after us. Every undergraduate can claim back around £250 each year for academic purchases such as books and laptops, and the college offers a generous array of other grants. Perks like free printing are the envy of other colleges. Free lunches, teas, and pizza nights are organised weekly by the welfare team. Although we’re known as an academic powerhouse, the atmosphere in college

“The most generous financial support of all the colleges.”

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colleges

St Peter’s

New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, OX1 2DL | 01865 278900 | www.spc.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 356 è Rent per term: £1016 - £1080 è Facilities: On-site accommodation guaranteed for first-, third- and fourth- years. One large kitchen and a few kitchenettes to share. Bathrooms shared between 3 or 4, but most third-years live in en-suites. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast and brunch priced from £2. Lunch and dinner usually cost around £3. Formal dinners available bi-weekly and cost £7. è Entertainment: About 3 bops per term, a ball every 2 years, and seasonal dinners. è Famous Alumni: Martin Ivens, Simon Beaufoy and Hugh Dancy.

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St Peter’s has a thriving social scene, a strong academic record and – who could forget – the cheapest bar in Oxford. St Peter’s is the only Oxford college in which every incoming fresher is given a hug by a brave second-year student dressed in an oversized squirrel outfit (the college mascot). St Peter’s may not be the oldest or the richest Oxford college, but it’s a college that’s well-spoken of – even by students who don’t go there! Academically, St Peter’s is a great place to be. We work hard but when work is done, there’s a chilled atmosphere that makes St Peter’s a great place to relax. Our library is excellent; there is always a good stock of books and the librarians are happy to order in anything that you think would be helpful to your studies. What’s more, the 24/7 opening hours can come in handy and suit any working pattern you may have.

The one thing that is the best about St Peter’s is certainly its atmosphere. Even the relationship that students have with their tutors is fantastic. Tutors will stop and chat to their students in the Quad and they’re always happy to lend a sympathetic ear. The porters are all lovely and friendly, and the student body is active and welcoming. Anybody who wants to get involved in college life – whoever they are – can. St Peter’s is a great place to study and an even better place to have fun. With a fantastic atmosphere, a central location, and a cheap bar, what more could anyone want?

Peterites are involved in all manner of extra-academic activities. Rowing and rugby are two of the most prominent sports groups here, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. At St Peter’s, there are lots of opportunities to get involved in anything you want, and the college’s central location means getting to practices outside of the college doesn’t take too long. St Peter’s has regular open mic nights, stages theatrical productions and often invites guests to give talks – Hugh Dennis and David Mitchell are but two of the most recent visitors. We also have an excellent choir and a lovely chapel.

“A thriving social scene, a strong academic record and – who could forget – the cheapest bar in Oxford.”

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colleges

Somerville

Woodstock Rd, Oxford, OX2 6HD | 01865 270600 | www.some.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 400 è Rent per term: £1186 è Facilities: On-site accommodation supplied for first- and third-years. Bathrooms are shared between 10 at most, but many rooms are en-suite. Access to communal kitchens. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast less than £1.50. Lunch and dinner are about £3. Formal dinner is available once a week for £9.50. è Entertainment: 3 to 5 bops a term, a ball every 3 years, and other events. è Famous Alumni: Indira Gandhi, Iris Murdoch, Margaret Thatcher.

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Due to its location in the north of Oxford, Somerville is a college that is frequently overlooked by candidates. However, its northerly location is in fact one of Somerville’s greatest assets. Tucked between Little Clarendon Street, Woodstock Road and Walton Street, Somervillians have instant access to some of Oxford’s trendiest bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants. The town centre is little more than five minutes’ walk away and will enforce some exercise – much needed, due to Somerville’s cheap meal prices and excellent desserts. Port Meadow, Oxford’s best pastoral escapist offering, is a five-minute walk to the north. Its river provides a location for (brave) swimmers during summer and (even braver) ice-skaters during winter. Somerville’s location also means that, when staring, mid-essay, out of the library window, you won’t be confronted by the inquisitive eyes of a tourist (although, this may also be due to the college’s extremely tight security).

most students need never resort to their Faculty Library. Despite its connection with Thatcher, Somerville does not have a dominant political orientation, but is very happy to support the social and politicallymotivated projects of different students. Last term, for example, money was donated to a feminist magazine, and a motion was passed to raise the LGBT flag over the college in support of ‘LGBT History Month’. Somerville’s atmosphere is notably unintimidating. This is evidenced by the informality of the meals; the approachability of subject tutors, as well as the generally irreverent environment, where you are actually invited to walk on the grass. Somervillians certainly don’t fit into a social ‘type’ and are active throughout the university. In recent years, we have excelled in rowing, become editors of the university’s newspapers, and appeared in some of the best theatrical productions.

In first year, you will most likely find yourself living in the architectural eyesore that is Vaughan. Rumours frequently abound of its impending demolition but, with a new bar currently being added to its terrace, this seems an unlikely prospect. However, the social nature of Vaughan and abundance of first-years mean that you will often hear residents of Penrose and Darbishire (alternative Halls of Residence) bemoaning their ‘too nice’ accommodation. The library is another of Somerville’s assets and is one of the best stocked in Oxford. Due to this,

“A social hub with a layout conducive to making friends.”

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colleges

Trinity

Broad St, Oxford, OX1 3BH | 01865 279900 | www.trinity.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 300 è Rent per term: £1300 è Facilities: There is one kitchen. Most students share bathrooms. Onsite accommodation is provided to all undergraduates for their first two years. è Library: 24/7 è Food: £4.12 for formal dinner (five times a week). Though dependent on menu choice, breakfast is typically £2, lunch £3.50. è Distance: 3 minutes from Radcliffe Camera. è Famous Alumni: Kenneth Clark, Terence Rattigan.

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Situated right in the centre of town, Trinity’s stunning architecture and expansive grounds mean that our college is admired and envied all across the university. Trinitarians are particularly proud of their immaculate lawns – stretching endlessly from Sir Christopher Wren’s spectacular Garden Quad – which are ideal for sitting back and relaxing on during the summer months. Such spaciousness disguises the fact that Trinity has fewer students than most colleges, meaning that every individual from fresher to finalist is embraced by its friendly community. Many of us will admit that the quality of the food in Trinity was a critical factor in our choice of college! The sumptuous four-course Friday Guest Night is an established Trinity ritual, expertly prepared by the unparalleled college kitchen and is followed by the newer custom of everybody gathering in the bustling college bar before heading out to one of the nearby clubs. A lazy brunch the next day is the perfect conclusion to this Trinity tradition. Trinity doesn’t believe that it should be limited by the size of its student body; it offers the same breadth of opportunities as the more populated colleges. Freshers are encouraged to get involved in as many activities as possible, and your enthusiasm is always more valuable than your experience. Trinity’s sports teams welcome all abilities and everybody can access our sports pitches and onsite squash court and gym. With high

participation, a great team spirit, and a brilliant social aspect, we maintain a dominating presence in inter-collegiate competitions. The hockey, rugby and cricket teams are all highly successful, while the boat club outperforms almost every other college on the river. Involvement and success aren’t confined to our sporting endeavours. The nonauditioning choir regularly sings in college and even toured Europe. There is an excellent orchestra, and the Trinity Players stage two productions every year, having recently given acclaimed performances at the Edinburgh Fringe. Despite all of these distractions, Trinity students are academically successful: the result of a supportive network of friends, tutors and college staff in a unique environment for learning and living.

“Soak up the sun on the magnificently manicured lawns.”

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colleges

University

High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BH | 01865 276602 | www.univ.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 380 è Rent per term: £1000 è Facilities: On-site accommodation supplied for two years. Bathrooms are shared between 3-6 students. There are a few communal kitchens. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs around £2. Lunch costs £3-£4. Dinner costs £4, and formal dinner is available 3 times a week at about £8 per meal. è Entertainment: 2-3 bops a term, a ball every 2 years, themed bar events and other seasonal events. è Famous Alumni: Stephen Hawking, C.S.Lewis, Armando Iannucci.

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University College, more commonly known as Univ, is the oldest Oxford college – but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s stuffy or behind the times. Univ boasts modern facilities, plenty of active clubs and societies, and a diverse yet close-knit community of students.

boathouses surrounding it.

The wide range of societies at Univ means there’s something for everyone to get involved in. Active folk can join one of the college’s many sports teams who compete in everything from football to darts; budding thespians can take a Univ is a medium-sized college in terms starring role in the annual garden play; of student numbers, but the buildings and those who just need an hour to relax themselves are not too grand or imposing can drop into one of the college’s weekly – the modest but beautiful quads feel yoga sessions. peaceful and homely. Plus, tourists mostly walk right past Univ, which means Univ provides all undergraduates with you’re not swamped by people when accommodation for every year of their trying to get to a tutorial! course, if they want it. The size of college rooms does vary significantly, but all The college’s location is a huge rooms have a sink and internet access, as advantage. Situated right on the High well as your own mini-fridge, which is an Street, it’s just a few minutes’ walk away indispensable luxury. WiFi is also being from pretty much everything you need, rolled out across the entire college. including the Bodleain libraries, subject faculties, and main shopping centre. Of All of this, plus the college’s friendly particular interest to students is Ahmed’s and supportive community of students, kebab van, which parks right outside makes Univ a wonderful place in which to Univ’s doors every evening, providing study and have fun. a favourite late-night snack for anyone returning from a night out, or even those midway through an all-night study session! Speaking of all-night study sessions, Univ has a well-stocked library and computer room, both of which are open 24 hours a day. Other facilities include our newly-refurbished buttery (serving three well-priced meals a day), a squash court, and a state of the art boathouse which sits on the bank of the River Isis, laughing smugly at all the inferior

“A central college with a lots of thriving societies”

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colleges

Wadham

Parks Road, Oxford, OX13PN | 01865 277900 | www.wadham.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 450 è Rent per term: £1022 è Facilities: On-site accommodation is guaranteed for first- and third-years. Secondand fourth – years normally live in collegeowned buildings off-site. There are lots of kitchen facilities. On average, bathrooms are shared between 4 people. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast from £1.20. Lunch is usually under £3. Dinner is £4.15. It is the only college not to have a regular ‘formal dinner’ option. è Entertainment: 2-5 bops a term, a ball every 3 years, QueerWeek, Wadstock, bar events, and some special dinners. è Famous Alumni: Monica Ali, Marcus du Sautoy, Rosamund Pike.

“A diverse, inclusive and dynamic college that knows how to have a good time.”

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Wadham can be found at the heart of Oxford. It’s one of the biggest colleges, and is renowned for being liberal and progressive. Wadham was one of the first colleges to admit women alongside men, gowns aren’t worn to dinner, and the rainbow flag is flown above the college for a month every year. Many Wadhamites are very involved in activism, charities and student politics.

and in the years in between, they live in shared houses in the Cowley Road area, or in college-owned flats in Summertown. This means you can easily meet people when in first year, have space for house parties in second year, and are roll-outof-bed-able distance from libraries and lectures when final exams come around. There’s a band room and theatre on site, as well as a gym and squash courts.

Wadham is also renowned for its great parties. Its legendary bops (college parties) happen 5 times a term – the most of any of the colleges, and its bar opens every night. Each May a music festival called Wadstock is held in the college gardens, and in November the college is lit pink and disco balls are hung in the trees for Queerfest – a party that began in the ‘60s in defiance of a ban on openly queer events. Queerfest has since become the finale of QueerWeek – when a series of events about LGBTQ issues are held.

One more thing… since a motion passed by Wadham’s Student Union in the ‘80s, ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ by The Specials AKA is played at the end of every party. The opening bars of the song is a Wadhamite’s cue to find another Wadhamite to lift onto their shoulders and jump around until the song is over – a dance that has become known as ‘Mandelaing.’ The college recently got some pet tortoises, and, fittingly, these were named Theodore and Archibald Manshella.

It’s a friendly, supportive and inclusive community, and has an excellent welfare team providing peer support sessions and free brunches. There is plenty to get involved in: student journalism, football, the choir, charity committees, and Wadham’s very own funk band (currently called Garfunkel), to name just a few. Its huge gardens are an oasis of calm in the city centre, and in summer months these are strewn with students reading and sunbathing. Most Wadham students live in college in their first and final years,

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Worcester

Walton St, Oxford, OX1 2HB | 01865 278300 | www.worc.ox.ac.uk

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è Undergraduates: 400 è Rent per term: £625 - £1150 è Facilities: On-site accommodation provided for 3, but not 4, years, Most rooms are en suite and kitchen facilities are available. è Library: 24/7 è Food: Breakfast costs £1.90. Lunch costs £2.20-£3.30. Dinner is £3.75, or £3 if you don’t have access to a kitchen. A formal dinner is available 4 times a week for £5. è Entertainment: 3 bops a term, a ball every 3 years, termly cocktails night, and many more including a student Shakespeare production on the lake. è Famous Alumni: Russell T. Davies, Thomas De Quincey, Rachel Portman.

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“Worcester? The one with the lake?” So goes the usual response to the casual mention that you’re at Worcester. But while the lake and its ducks act as our emotional, patriotic and humour-related focal point, Worcester isn’t just the college with the largest on-site body of water – it’s much more than that. Hidden behind a rather unprepossessing wall on a busy road, from the outside Worcester appears somewhat unappealing. Step through the gateway, however, and you enter into one of the most beautiful of the Oxford colleges. The unique three-sided quad is surrounded by stunning orchards and gardens, with students positively encouraged to roam freely on all but the front quad. Being off the touristtrail (but still ever so handy for Tesco), Worcester forms a haven in the midst of the frantic Oxford rush. Worcester may be academically strong but it’s not the be-all and end-all. To be a true Worcesterite is to live the maxim ‘work hard, play hard.’

being staged on the college lake! Cultural and faith groups, such as Le Cercle Français and the Worcester CU, are also active both within college and the wider university. Formal Hall, a three-course served meal, is also a popular way to relax amongst Worcesterites. Worcester is fortunate in having some of the best and cheapest food in Oxford and Worcester formals are renowned for their quality and value. The cosy college bar is one of Worcester’s social hubs, acting as the venue for quizzes, open-mic nights and bops. As may be expected from such a vibrant college, the college community is cohesive, but inclusive. There is no such thing as the ‘normal Worcesterites,’ either in background or personality. From the feisty footballer to the shy soprano, Worcester welcomes everyone.

Worcester excels in the sporting stakes, with teams ranging from the conventional football, netball and rowing, to the somewhat surprising. (Anyone for Quidditch?) However, Worcester is home to a broad range of societies, meaning that you don’t have to be a sporting star to revel in Worcester life. Worcester boasts a nationally-lauded chapel choir, whilst the Worcester College Music Society promotes a broad range of music across the college community. The ever-popular Buskins Dramatic Society hosts three shows per year, with the 2013 production of The Merchant of Venice

“The grounds seem to go on for miles. There’s even a lake with ducks!”

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colleges

PPH

21+

Blackfriar’s

St Giles' Street, Oxford, OX1 3LY | 01865 278400 | www.bfriars.ox.ac.uk Blackfriars Hall is run by Dominican friars and accepts students for Classics, PPE, Theology, and the joint course of Theology and Philosophy. Undergraduates must be 21 or over upon starting their degree, i.e. they must fall under the category of being a ‘mature student’. Blackfriars has existed in many forms since its founding, but originally dates from 1221, making it one of the oldest bodies in Oxford. It currently has fewer than 10 undergraduates, some of whom have accommodation provided for them. There are also some self-catering facilities available and all students have the option of taking meals at the nearby St Benet’s Hall. Like all Oxford colleges, Blackfriars has its own library, consisting of over 35,000 volumes on Theology and Philosophy. It has also recently become the home of a new institute on ethics, governance and social justice.

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St Stephen’s House

PPH

21+

16 Marston St, Oxford, OX4 1JX | 01865 613500 | www.ssho.ox.ac.uk The student body of St Stephen’s House is made up of all ages of people from a wide range of interesting backgrounds. The college community consists of ordinands who are training to become priests in the Church of England; PGCE students preparing for a career in teaching; and a smaller number of independent students, studying for both postgraduate and undergraduate degrees. As a training institution for the Church of England, St Stephen’s House offers many opportunities for all students to engage in daily worship. However, despite a clear Christian ethos, people of all faiths (or even those with none at all) are welcome and enjoy life at St Stephen’s House without any sense of pressure. One of the nicest parts of community life at St Stephen’s House is meal times. The whole community has the opportunity to sit down together, which usually results in meals lasting much longer than the food and the cups of tea afterwards. Overall, St Stephen’s House is a warm, friendly community with a good support network for all students.

Wycliffe Hall

PPH

21+

52-54 Banbury Rd, Oxford, OX2 6PW | 01865 274200 | www.wycliffehall.org.uk Wycliffe Hall is an evangelical PPH that offers students over the age of 21 the chance to study Theology at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level. Wycliffe is a place where Anglican ordinands and their families, international students, and visiting ministers and academics from around the world combine to create an amazingly dynamic community. There is yearround accommodation for single students, and opportunities to play sports with Queen’s College. Situated in leafy North Oxford, Wycliffe is a great place to live, work and think. Famous alumni include former Archbishop Donald Coggan, leading New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, and former MP and broadcaster Jonathan Aitken.

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COURSES

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CHOOSING A COURSE You want to find a course that suits you. Ultimately, a passion for the subject is key. The Oxford admissions system is designed to find students who have that passion and have the potential to excel in it. At Oxford, you have the opportunity to really immerse yourself in your subject, and no one wants to spend three or four years studying something that they don’t find interesting. To avoid finding yourself in that situation, it’s best to do your research now and pay close attention to the students within these pages. After all, it’s only been a few years since they were in your shoes. But first, here are some things to bear in mind when flicking through this section: è Be open-minded Oxford offers a wide range of courses – some you might never have heard of before may be right up your street. Pay attention to the colour codes to see what other subjects are offered in your field of interest. è Don’t rule out joint-honours courses For those that don’t wish to choose between two complementary subjects (like History and Politics, or Maths and Computer Sciences), Oxford lets you have it both ways! Two subjects doesn’t mean double the workload; you have roughly the same amount of work as single-honours students, but, due to the inter-disciplinary nature of these courses, they may require a little more time-management than other subjects. è Most courses aren’t vocational Apart from the obvious exceptions like Medicine or Law, most of the undergraduate degrees are designed to give you the transferable skills that employers love to see, allowing you to find a job in a completely different sector from the one your degree might at first seem most suited to. If you do decide at a later date that you want to be a medic or a lawyer, medical and law conversion courses are available at many universities, and you can do them after completing your undergraduate degree. So, if you want to keep your options open, choose a course you know you’ll enjoy.

The main section explains the structure of the course, and what makes Oxford different

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The colours at the side of each course represent the type of course this is, explained in the diagram to the right.

The last part is a personal testimonial of a current Oxford student, giving their experiences of the course so far


Courses A-Z

98 99 100 101 102 103 104 104 105 105 106 106 107 108 109 110 110 111 112 113 114 115 115

116 116 Archaeology and Anthropology 117 Biochemistry 117 Biology 118 Biomedical Sciences 119 Chemistry 120 CAAH (Classical Archaeology and 120 Anthropology) 121 Classics 122 Classics and English 122 Classics and Modern Languages 123 Classics and Oriental Studies 123 Computer Science 124 Computer Science and Philosophy 125 Earth Sciences (Geology) 125 Economics and Management 126 Engineering Science 127 English 128 English and Modern Languages 128 European and Middle Eastern Languages 129 Experimental Psychology 130 Fine Art 130 Geography 131 History 132 History (Ancient and Modern) 132

History and Economics History and English History and Modern Languages History and Politics History of Art Human Sciences Law (Jurisprudence) Law with Law Studies in Europe Materials Science Mathematics Mathematics and Computer Science Mathematics and Philosophy Mathematics and Statistics Medicine Modern Languages Modern Languages and Linguistics Music Oriental Studies Philosophy and Modern Languages Philosophy and Theology Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Physics Physics and Philosophy Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics Theology and Religion Theology and Oriental Studies

Courses by Colour The coloured circles by the side of each course tell you what ‘division’ that subject is in: Humanities

Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences

Social Sciences

Medical Sciences

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courses

ARCHAEOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY Arch and Anth (which is less of a mouthful than its full title) is the study of human culture through time. The first-year workload consists of around four one-hour lectures each week, with occasional practical classes a couple of times per term. This may not seem like a lot, but in Oxford the focus is firmly on reading and individual work; you will also be set three essays every fortnight, which are discussed in separate tutorials. Your first year will be made up of four modules – three for Archaeology and one for Anthropology. The workload will get more intense during your second and third years, but by then you’ll hopefully be used to writing Oxford-style essays with the typical Oxford time restraints! Second-year is also when you’re allowed to choose three option papers with a wide choice of modules to meet everybody’s interests, from Landscape Archaeology to the Anthropology of Medicine. What makes Oxford different? è During your first year, it is compulsory to do five weeks of fieldwork– two weeks of this must be done at an excavation near Oxford, but the other three can be done anywhere in the world. è There are only four lectures per week (and none are before 10am), meaning that you can spend most of your time working in the way that’s best for you. è Some of these lectures are given in the famous Pitt Rivers Museum, founded by Augustus Pitt Rivers, one of the world’s first archaeologists. What’s been your favourite experience of the course so far? One of the best things about Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford is that, in the summer of your first year, you get to undertake five weeks of fieldwork. A fortnight of this is done with your entire year group at a dig near Oxford. Although this includes camping and unreliable weather, it’s a great chance to spend time with your friends, experience a real excavation during the day, and finish the night in the local pub! Laurel Quinn Keble, 2nd Year I initially chose Arch and Anth because it contained many of the topics that I was especially interested in, such as human evolution and the formation of states. Since I was more attracted to the archaeological modules, it was a surprise when the anthropological unit quickly became my favourite. I found that, because it was so interesting, it was easy to read about different witchcraft practices and kinship beliefs in faraway cultures! I have always enjoyed writing essays, so the Oxford style of learning, which includes twelve essays per term, really appealed to me. I was also attracted to Oxford by the small year-group size – there are less than thirty of us in the year, meaning you can easily become friends with everyone on the course.

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courses

BIOCHEMISTRY Biochemistry isn’t just half Chemistry and half Biology; it’s an entire subject and field of enquiry in itself. Biochemists use skills and techniques drawn from Physics and Chemistry in order to analyse and understand the workings of life on the smallest possible scale. The course at Oxford is designed to give you all the abilities you’ll need to leave university and enter a lab, as well as understanding the true workings of life on earth. In the first year, you get a broad grounding in the subject, and you begin to develop the techniques that you will need to fully understand the material in the next three years. What makes Oxford different? è The quality of teaching staff is excellent. You are taught by world leaders – great lecturers who are, most importantly, always ready to help you out. è The way the tutorial system teaches you to think is unique; no other university in the world can prepare a biochemist in the same way. What’s been your favourite experience of the course so far? One week in my second year, my tutorial topic was about the mechanisms of proteins in the electron transport chain. That week, there was a talk from a scientist from Cambridge who came to speak in our department. He had just discovered a new structure for Complex I in the electron transport chain and came to speak to us about it before it was published. What I learned completely re-shaped my essay and I achieved the highest mark that I have ever received for a piece of work. The research was published months later in Nature, the biggest science journal in the world, but I’d been told about it six months before it came out. Ben Phillips Wadham, 3rd Year I’ve really enjoyed the course so far. It can certainly be demanding at times, but it is immensely satisfying knowing that you are being taught by some of the best lecturers and tutors in the world and that you are learning – to the best of our current understanding – how life on earth really works. I find almost all of my lectures and set work interesting, and even when I don’t, I’m still able to recognise that I’m developing key skills that I will need in order to become a successful scientist one day (although you’re by no means constrained to one career choice upon graduation).

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BIOLOGY The first-year course modules give you a solid background for more specialised study in the later years: Cells and Genes, Organisms, Quantitative Methods (which, sadly, means statistics), and Ecology. The first year draws to a close with a fantastic weeklong field trip to the Welsh coast where you get to know people from other colleges, which is unusual for such a large subject. Lectures are twice daily, and twice a week you have a practical lesson sandwiched in-between them. During those long days, the faculty sandwich shop Darwin’s Café keeps you going! You usually have one essay each week for a tutorial with your college tutor (who is also an active researcher) or with other academics, who are experts in their field. In second year, Evolution and Quantitative Methods (again) are compulsory, but you also choose options based on your interests. Third year is even more specialised, and you can travel to Tenerife or Borneo for exciting field courses. Secondyear exams, a research project, two course assignments, and final exams count towards the degree. What makes Oxford different? è The tutorials help you to go beyond the simple regurgitation of textbooks that you would have done previously; you can develop your own ideas, and fine-tune your ability to critically review the scientific literature you read, which prepares you for life after university. è The university has an unparalleled range of libraries, museums, and reference collections: the Radcliffe Science Library, the Oxford University Farm, the Botanic Gardens, Wytham Woods, the Museum of Natural History to name a few, which prove invaluable for your studies. What’s been your favourite experience of the course so far? So far, the highlight for me was the visit to the University Museum of Natural History. We were given a behind the scenes tour of specimens both live and dead, handling millipedes, tarantulas, scorpions, and a rather cute preying mantis. The researcher who took us round spends his time in Indonesia investigating dung beetles. Maria Dance St John’s, 2nd Year My interest in the natural world attracted me to study Biology; it is, to me, one of the most relevant degrees for the 21st century. I chose to study Biology at Oxford partly due to the close-knit collegiate system and partly because the department is one of the strongest in the country for both the course and for research. Also, the broad structure of the first year appealed to me as I wasn’t sure which area I wanted to specialise in, since there was so much we never came across at school (sea-slug mating, anyone?). The workload is manageable and even leaves time for extracurriculars; this year, I’m in the college musical!

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BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES Biomedical Sciences is all about understanding how the human body works, covering everything from Molecular Biology and Genetics, to Experimental Psychology and Neuroscience. Teaching is delivered through lectures (sometimes with other life science students), highly personalised tutorials, and practical laboratory sessions. After your first year (which equips you with the basics), what you decide to study next is completely up to you. In this way, the course gives you a tremendous amount of choice in studying what interests and excites you, so you can tailor your degree to cover what you want. This course is rare as a science course, in that it requires frequent essay writing. While this may seem daunting at first (I didn’t do any essay-writing A-levels), it’s useful in that it gives you the ability to make clear arguments, and you learn how to spell words like “fluorescent”. What makes Oxford different? è As a much smaller course, with an intake of approximately 30 people each year, it’s much friendlier, social, and close-knit than the bigger subjects. è Biomedical Sciences at Oxford is not the same as some other universities, as you’re not doing an ‘accredited’ course ­– where you’re being trained to work in a lab; instead you develop an understanding of human physiology, specialising in whatever field you choose. What’s been your favourite experience of the course so far? The most interesting practical I can remember is from my first year when we were studying the kidneys, which for some reason involved us measuring the osmolarity of our own urine. This involved drinking excessive amounts of water and weeing into slightly too small beakers. Rakesh Dodhia Lady Margaret Hall, 3rd Year I applied for Biomedical Sciences because I was interested in medicine, but was more interested in research than treatment. The course was ideal for this reason, as it included a term-long research project in my second year, where I got the opportunity to conduct completely original research in an area that I was interested in, under the supervision of leaders in the field. The combination of teaching methods at Oxford has suited me well; I’ve found that the practicals and tutorials really let you grasp and examine the teaching given in lectures, which I think have made me a more inquisitive and questioning person.

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CHEMISTRY If you are fascinated by how the world around us works, Chemistry is the degree for you! The Oxford course covers a broad range of topics across the three branches of Chemistry: Inorganic, Organic and Physical. First-years also take a Mathematics course. You’ll have two lectures each day, with weekly tutorials to cement what you’ve learnt. Practicals then help you put the theory into practice, with two afternoons a week spent doing experiments. In first year, you take exams in Organic, Inorganic, Physical, and Maths. These need to be passed to continue on the course, and then in second and third year, you take papers that count towards your overall grade. In fourth year, you spend the year working with a research group and preparing a thesis. As there are so many academics in the department, you could research anything from cancer therapies to nanotechnology! What makes Oxford different? è●You don’t start to specialise until late on in the degree. This means that the course is incredibly broad and you learn about a really wide range of topics. è●In your fourth year, you join a research group, led by a world expert, and spend the whole year working with them. Most Chemistry courses will have a research project, but it will only be for a few weeks or months. What’s been your favourite experience of the course so far? In my second year, I had the opportunity to study History and Philosophy of Science as a supplementary subject. This was a fantastic experience, as it really got me thinking about how all the scientific theory I was learning fits into a broader historical context. The philosophy, especially the bits relating to quantum mechanics, was pretty mind-blowing! Olivia McDermott Hertford, 4th Year I really enjoyed Chemistry at school and felt that with each new topic, I was piecing together an amazing picture about why things react. This has continued to degree level; sometimes you feel that your different lectures aren’t connected, but once you step back and look at the big picture, you realise how everything fits together. You’ll hear about it a lot, but the tutorial system is as good as people say. Tutorials are a great way to learn from others. Seeing another person think a problem through is just as beneficial as having the answer explained to you by a tutor.

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CLASSICAL ARCHAEOLOGY AND ANCIENT HISTORY For people who want to study the Classical worlds of Greece and Rome but don’t want to pursue a literature-based route, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History is the natural choice. It looks at the history, art and archaeology of these civilisations (although you can study the language of them too if you choose). The only compulsory modules are in your first year, one on the Greek Archaic period and one on the transition from Republic to Empire in the Roman world. Aside from these, each module you take is pretty much up to you. There’s a chance to study outside of the boundaries of the Classical World, with modules on offer in your second and third years that look at Egypt and the early Islamic world. Some modules even focus on the process of archaeology – for example, investigating the scientific methods in use. What makes Oxford different? è Not only does the course focus on History and Archaeology as separate disciplines, but it also uses combined approaches to gain a better insight into the Ancient World. è It’s not just limited to Classical Greece and Rome; it covers a vast period of history, from 3200 BC to 950 AD. What’s been your favourite experience of the course so far? One of the best experiences of my first year was participating in fieldwork in Italy. I’ve never been that interested in excavation, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed myself. It’s a fantastic way to get hands-on experience of archaeology and also a great excuse to do some (relevant) sightseeing along the way. Alex Leigh Wadham, 2nd Year I chose Classical Archaeology and Ancient History precisely because I wanted to study the Classical World without being confined to the literature. Having a personal interest in art, I’m particularly interested in the artifacts and architecture of the Ancient World, so being able to study the Classical World without being limited to the literary sources was really important to me. With the Ashmolean Museum so close by, it’s easy to go and see the objects you’re studying, rather than just seeing their images in print. As the museum is part of the university, there’s also the possibility of attending handling sessions. I find them fascinating – although I’m always terrified I’m going to drop something!

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CLASSICS Course I: For students who have studied Latin, Greek or both to A-Level or equivalent. Course II: For students who would like to learn one or both languages from scratch. This difference acts both as an equaliser and allows students to specialise in the languages they are comfortable with. Though not the most obvious choice of subject, Classics touches upon almost everything. At Oxford, it boasts a snazzy name, ‘Literae Humaniores’, and a unique structure in two parts: five terms of ‘Moderations’ (Mods) – a foundation course showcasing all the subject has to offer – and seven terms of ‘Greats’, the degree proper. For Mods, aside from intense study of Latin and/or Ancient Greek, tuition ranges from tutorials on Homer’s Iliad & Vergil’s Aeneid. In these, you examine texts in detail and exploring numerous wider themes. It’s the best way for you to find what topics suit you best, as you take inter-disciplinary classes on the juicy stuff (war, drama, class and sex) covering crucial periods over about seven centuries. For Greats, you’ll choose eight papers from a massive selection in Literature, History, Philology, Archaeology and Philosophy. What makes Oxford different? è The Classics degree is awarded solely on performance in exams. I find this helps me to think on the spot and be concise (not my strong point!) but it isn’t for everyone. è We study far more texts in the original language than most universities. The emphasis is on being able to read and see for yourself, but remember: you don’t have to have Latin or Ancient Greek A-Level to embark upon a Classics degree at Oxford. What has been your favourite experience on the course so far? Seeing Professor David Raeburn’s new translation/production of the ‘Bacchae’ after studying it in Greek was a privilege. It felt spookily familiar – that’s how brilliantly it evoked the original – but I was equally fascinated by his own marvellous stylistic flairs, e.g. matching Greek and English rhythms, and his approach to the controversial parts of the text.

CLASSICS AND ENGLISH

Olivia Thompson Corpus Christi, 3rd Year I chose Classics because I felt at home with the comforting rigidity of Latin and Greek; only at Oxford have I started to appreciate how wonderfully colourful and versatile they really are. I’ve become more versatile too. ‘Educare’ means ‘draw out’: that’s exactly how studying here works. When I got here, I’d never written an essay. Ever. Now I can write coherent arguments on texts I enjoy so much that I go on about them for hours afterwards. Imagine studying Game of Thrones, but in languages that are supposed to be dead (they’re far from it).

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Rebecca Roughan Regent’s Park, 3rd Year The Classics and English course allows you to approach literature from the broadest possible angle; the study of language (both English and Latin/Greek linguistics) and period/author- specific papers are combined with genre-focused options which cover thousands of years of storytelling. If you do Course II, then your first year is actually a preliminary year made up purely of language-learning before you go into the general ‘first’ year and study English modules in the Renaissance period and Critical Theory & Linguistics, and a variety of Latin (or Greek) authors by translating, commenting and writing essays on their works. The third and fourth years are made up of two subject-specific papers for each side of the course and three link papers – you have to study a paper called Epic (on the ancient lengthy narrative poems of Homer, Virgil, etc) but can choose the other two from a broad range of papers. I chose to study Classics and English at Oxford because it was the only place that demanded you studied the language (even if you had to start from scratch), and I thought if I wasn’t being made to, I never would, and I’d still be missing out. I also wanted to have tutorials, and to do the link papers – unique to Oxford. The course is definitely tough, but is ultimately very rewarding.

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CLASSICS AND MODERN LANGUAGES

Lucy Halton Wadham, 2nd Year Classics and Modern Languages is one of the most broad and varied courses on offer; you can combine a whole host of Modern Languages, from French and Spanish, to Celtic and beginner’s Portuguese, with either Latin or Greek or both, regardless of whether you have studied an ancient language before! The course will either be four or five years, depending on your pre-existing level of Latin or Greek, but either way you get the benefit of a year abroad in the country of your Modern Language. Depending on which course you do, the course layout will vary slightly, but in general you will study as broad a range of subjects in your first few years as students on either of the two courses normally would (lots of literature!), with much more personal choice available for the final examinations. Classics and French as a combination for me came simply from my indecisiveness, as I loved both and was interested by the links between them. In my first year, I started beginner’s Latin, which was incredibly intense and very challenging, and then in my second year, I picked up French again as well and began to study a wide range of poetry, drama, philosophy and even political writing in both languages. The course allows you to study a huge range of topics before you focus on your particular interests. Though at times it can be stressful to combine two demanding disciplines, it’s a journey through the culture of two fascinating worlds!

CLASSICS AND ORIENTAL STUDIES

Mona Damain St Anne’s, 3rd Year The Classics and Oriental Studies course is structured so that you spend the first two years studying solely Classics and then, at the start of your third year, you pick up your Oriental language. For the last two years, you study the two courses simultaneously, finally finishing your degree with three papers in Oriental Studies and three in Classics – all of which you choose yourself. For the first two years, you are essentially studying a fixed set of modules that encompass Roman and Greek literature, Philosophy and History. On top of this, you spend a lot of time on your language work. Whether you are learning both Greek and Latin from scratch, or already have one at A-Level, you spend much of your first five terms poring over tricky yet satisfying translations. By the time you reach third year, all the language work is concentrated on your Oriental language. I found it really useful that the course structure allows you to solidify your knowledge of Classics before embarking upon a whole new discipline. The tutorial system can be very flexibly adapted to what you are interested in and where you need help. For example, in addition to fulfilling the set requirements of the course, I will hopefully start reading some Classical Sanskrit theatre soon and should be able to choose which plays I study. In short, it’s a fascinating course that gives you an incredible amount of flexibility to explore the humanities from a plethora of angles.

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COMPUTER SCIENCE When you study Computer Science at Oxford, the first thing that strikes you is how rigorous it is: right from the start you are focusing on producing programs that don’t just work, but can be proven to work. This theme continues throughout the year: you are taught more and more techniques for programming and algorithms, and the first thing you do after being introduced to any concept is to show that it works. The course is taught in three main ways: the bulk of your learning is through lectures (10 hours per week), with lab sessions for about half of the modules. You have one or two tutorials each week, each of which you spend, on average, three or four hours preparing for. What makes Oxford different? è The Oxford course is taught in a very mathematical style, and is focused on the how and why, as opposed to the latest tools. But you still get to become familiar with the essentials of the programming trade as it gives you the ability to produce correct code in pretty much any language simply by reading the documentation. è You still get to play with cool hardware (which forms a key part of a second year group project) What has been your favourite experience of the course so far? My favourite module in the first year was functional programming, a style that few have studied before, giving a level playing field. The language is inherently mathematical, with a beauty and elegance that you wouldn’t expect to see in a programming language. Joshua Clarke St Anne’s College I’ve always been interested in how computers work, and in the first year, all those reading straight Computer Science (not the joint honours) study Digital Systems, taking you from the logic gates and their construction all the way up to how the internet works. A lot of the courses have clear, logical links and in some ways follow on from each other. This also means that you may see several different approaches to the same problem, from a variety of lecturers, meaning that if you didn’t get the problem the first time, you may see it in another light and really “get it”. There also is an emphasis on solving practical problems, meaning you not only get the satisfaction of getting the correct answer, but being able to see it elegantly applied to a real-world problem.

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Greg Auger St John’s, 2nd Year Computer Science and Philosophy. Do you see the links? Artificial Intelligence and Logic are just two of many. Though taught separately, a shared analytical approach means that students suited to one subject can almost always transfer their skills to the other. As well as lectures, CompSci has practical assignments and problem sheets, whereas for Philosophy you read lots and write essays. Oxford is a world leader in both subjects, and weekly tutorials allow discussion of your ideas with world renowned academics – this is especially valuable in Philosophy. Mathematics is foundational so you must have studied it before coming, but neither Computing nor Philosophy experience is expected. Once here, your time is split approximately 50/50, but courses on ‘Logic’ contribute towards a mathematically focused first-year. At first, I dismissed CompSci and Philosophy – I wanted to study Computer Science solo, not expend half my effort on something else! But several months later, I read Stephen Law’s The Philosophy Gym and the questions around ethics, freedom and paradoxes had me hooked! Four months and a fun interview later, I received an offer! There’s a couple of CompSci (mathematical and hardware like Digital Systems) modules I’ve missed out on to make room for Philosophy, but I think it’s well worth that sacrifice. Essay writing has been tough, but surprisingly fun. However, being half Humanities student, I’ve not yet managed to pull myself to lectures I’m not required to attend…

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EARTH SCIENCES (GEOLOGY) Studying Earth Sciences at Oxford University is a privilege shared by only a few. Each year, 30 keen undergraduate geologists embark upon an adventure to unravel the deep mysteries of our planet. The actual degree is as broad as the Earth is big (very) with many different topics covered. A lecture on crystallography might be followed by a class in fluid mechanics or cell biology lab. Essays, problem sheets and even hand-drawn fossil diagrams ensure your tutorial work will never get too repetitive. In first-year, the bedrock is laid and levelled with all students facing A Level Science and Maths reincarnated (Oxfordstyle). If you haven’t studied Geology before, never fear – you are most certainly not alone. In second-year, you’ll cover all things igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary, leading on to third-year options in varying topics across the Earth Sciences. What makes Oxford different? è The Earth Sciences department is a remarkably friendly haven in the occasionally harsh Oxford environment. è Frequent field trips enable good friendships to form within year groups and the everactive Geolsoc, with its Rocktails, provides a second college for those who join. è Compared to other geological courses out there this one stays broader for longer, giving you a wider scientific and mathematical base to work from – if you’re not a maths nerd be prepared for compulsory calculus catch up in first year. What’s been your favourite experience of the course so far? If field trips are the Earth Scientists’ precious gems, then the independent mapping project must be the crown jewel – six weeks, in a location entirely of your choice, exploring the local rocks (and cuisine) with friends. However, if you get lured to Scotland for the geology, prepare for midges, rain and a great deal of whisky (a necessary amenity). Jon Hunt Worcester, 3rd Year The combination of the sciences and nature, along with the possibility of travelling, led me comfortably into the subject of Earth Sciences. In all honesty, my passion is not for rocks. This could make studying geology difficult but, apart from the incessant pun-based jokes, this hasn’t been my experience. I’ve really enjoyed the breadth of the subject and have been able to appreciate the intricacies of physical oceanography when caged in by mineral structure, or the physics of earthquakes when buried in sedimentology.

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ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT

Economics and Management is one of Oxford’s newer courses. While the Economics holds on to its traditional roots – it’s taught no differently to the PPE modules– the management side of the course is uncharacteristically practical for an Oxford subject, providing an interesting complement to the course’s theoretical core. The first year involves an introductory economics paper, where you look at both micro and macroeconomics; a financial analysis paper, where you get to grips with the basics of accounting and capital markets; and a general management paper, which gives you an overview of corporate strategy techniques and developments. You specialise in eight papers across secondand third-year. Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Quantitative Economics are compulsory, but apart form that, the only constraint is that of your remaining six, at least two papers must be management papers. This structure introduces a lovely amount of choice to the course, which is one of its biggest strengths. What makes Oxford diffferent? è The pace of learning is FAST. A mate reading Economics at Newcastle said that his first year was essentially a recap of A-Levels. Here, you’ll know you’ve left A-Levels behind from Day One. è The ‘core’ part of the course is less mathematical than economics at the leading London unis. However, as mentioned, you can always choose options to make the rest of the course more mathematical if you want. è Third-year final exams (though you can swap one paper for a thesis), exclusively determine your degree result, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with exam-based assessments. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? In my second year, I got involved in a project with the Oxford Microfinance Initiative. I’d studied about microfinance as part of my course, and this project gave me the opportunity to fly to Egypt (fully funded), collect tons of first-hand data and analyse the expansion proposals of one of the country’s biggest microfinance organisations using what I’d learnt in the Quantitative Economics paper. Vinay Anicatt Wadham, 3rd Year The course has been great. The large amount of choice means you can let your interests guide the structure of the course – some opt for mathematically rigorous papers, some shift the emphasis of the course to management, some dip their toes etc. I’ve maintained a focus on the economics but have tilted the emphasis to economic history and development economics, looking closely at issues such as the end of the USSR’s Command Economy and the efficacy of international aid (I thought they had more promise in the ‘interesting pub conversations’ sphere than econometric methodology, but that’s just me). However, while the learning has been great, as a finalist, I’m currently going through the least enjoyable part of the course – the inevitable misery/anxiety of preparing for finals.

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ENGINEERING SCIENCE The engineering course at Oxford is meant to be as general as possible for the first two years. This gives you a great opportunity to explore the various engineering disciplines before jumping into anything more specific. For those that have no firm idea as to which areas to specialise in, the general course really has a lot going for it. To begin with the course is quite theoretical – be prepared for a quarter of your year to be taken up by maths! From there, it really depends on your own preference as to how much more maths you do. There’s a great range of options to choose from in third year, on top of completing a relatively epic group design project as well as a programming-based project. You have a lot of flexibility even in fourth-year; even the options you’ve chosen in third year don’t fix you completely to any particular direction. What makes Oxford different? è General – you get a good grounding in lots of engineering disciplines. è Good flexibility in areas of specialisation. è Great options for third-year project – (a group of us got to design a roller coaster!) What has been your favourite experience of the course so far? The second-year concrete lab was a fascinating experience and really couldn’t have felt less like work! You spend the morning mixing up in great concrete mixers many kilos of concrete to then pour over a steel reinforcement frame. You leave it to set and then spend an afternoon testing your beam (along with everyone else’s) to destruction! Lawrence Middleton Brasenose, 4th Year I was ridiculously shocked to find out how much maths I had taken on when I arrived! I chose engineering originally as I loved building and producing ‘things’. I was always either taking apart or putting back together anything I could find about the house. As a result, the theoretical body of work covered in the first and second years came as quite a surprise. Since then I’ve bizarrely grown to enjoy the more mathematical aspects and was grateful for the chance to specialise in areas that employ mathematical modelling more. That being said, I know many of my friends on the course have gone in the opposite direction – it really does depend on the person!

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Tom Ough St John’s, 3rd Year

ENGLISH

Studying English at Oxford gives you a grounding in pretty much every period of literature, right from Beowulf to the present day. At the end of your first year, you do exams on Victorian literature, Modernism, Old and Middle English, and a piece of coursework that looks at the way that language works (this sounds simple but it’s actually pretty eyeopening). It varies from college to college, but expect to be writing at least one essay per week, and be prepared for a hefty amount of reading. After first-year, you fill in the gaps, from Middle English up to 1830; the Renaissance, the Restoration and the Romantics feature heavily. You also do an extended essay on a topic of your own choosing, which is a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of a particular area – normally, the pace of the course doesn’t allow for quite the same appreciation. What makes Oxford different? è Studying Anglo-Saxon and Middle English texts sets the Oxford course apart from most other universities. Don’t let the fact that it’s old (and in an almost completely different language) put you off. You soon get the hang of it, and you might be surprised to find how rewarding it is to learn. Some people certainly get a kick out of it, with many students choosing to specialise in English pre-1550 in their second and third years. è Oxford’s tutorial system allows you to explore your ideas and instincts with world-experts to stop you digressing or misunderstanding. English is the most creative of the humanities at Oxford; here, originality is what gets you the best grades. è The Bodleian, having almost every book published in the UK, leaves us English students few reasons to get through the essential reading list or to pursue every interest or idea. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? Initially I was unsure whether I’d chosen the right subject, but now I’m certain that I have. Thanks to the quality of the teaching here, I find that I’m much more sensitive to texts and their nuances. It’s been very rewarding to be able to follow my own interests; this year, I’ve done a paper entirely on Oscar Wilde, and this term, I’m studying Thomas Nashe and the brutal world of Elizabethan pamphleteering. There are specialists of every kind here. I have a friend studying the language of the internet, while another is studying the short stories of different South American writers.

ENGLISH AND MODERN LANGUAGES

Charlotte Day, New, 2nd Year

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English and Modern Languages gives you the opportunity to follow your literary interests, become fluent in a foreign language, and gain a uniquely international perspective on it all. On the English side of first-year, you learn how to tackle everything from medieval poetry to contemporary advertising through minute linguistic analysis, get a crash course in literary theory, and zero in on Anglo-Saxon, Victorian, or Modern literature. In your chosen modern language, you focus on deepening grammatical knowledge and becoming comfortable with a range of literary genres and periods. From second-year onward, your foreign language literature work is no different from your English work in depth and breadth of choice. You continue foreign language conversation and translation classes, too. After taking a year abroad in your third year, you can specialise even further, concentrating on individual authors and topics, and, if you choose, combine your two subjects in a final dissertation. I chose to study English and Russian at Oxford because I couldn’t bear to give up either subject, and only Oxford offers a joint-honours course with a literary focus on the Russian side. Beginning to study my favourite Russian novels and poems in the original is as exciting as I had hoped, and the freedom to choose texts and periods in English is exhilarating, if overwhelming. Because there is no coordination between departments, my workload fluctuated from term to term, sometimes disconcertingly. But as I got used to working independently and organising myself, I found it easier to balance out my course. Despite its challenges, I couldn’t imagine choosing any other.

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EUROPEAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN LANGUAGES For the first year of EMEL, you have 12 contact hours: seven hours for your Middle Eastern language and around five for the European language. Initially, the focus of the Middle Eastern language learning is on pure, intense grammar but halfway through the year you begin to study short texts. Meanwhile, the European language study focuses on the literature, history and culture of the country as well as the language. Second-year is spent abroad in the two countries so you have a chance to improve both languages. You attend a language course in the Middle Eastern country and have the opportunity to attend a university in the European country. The workload increases slightly in third-and fourthyear but console yourself with the fact that there are no important exams in third-year and, in fourth-year, you get to write a bridging essay on an aspect of your choice that combines both languages! What makes Oxford different? è Not many people can speak a Middle Eastern language. For example, you get a great reaction from everybody when you tell them that you study German and TURKISH. è Oxford offers you loads of opportunities to improve your language through summer schools, internships and translation services. è The plays, prose and poetry studied are beautifully written works of literature that you might not otherwise have read. What has been your favourite experience of the course so far? Despite only being here for one year, I already have great memories, such as eating Turkish food during a late-night grammar session or seeing a performance of one of the German set plays, ‘Von morgens bis mitternachts’ (From Morn to Midnight) by Georg Kaiser, in London. Sara Tor St Hilda’s, 1st Year My main reason for choosing Oxford for my course – German and Turkish - was because it was the only university in the country to offer it, which I think is rather silly as the languages so obviously complement each other! Although the tutorials and grammar classes can be completely exhausting, I come out knowing far more on one text or one grammar point than I ever thought possible. To me, the depth of knowledge that I get and the fact that, by the end of my course, I’ll know three languages is what makes it perfect.

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EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Experimental Psychology is a great course to study if you are interested in learning about how and why people behave, think, see and feel in the ways they do. The introductory courses in Psychology, Statistics and Neurophysiology are studied over the first two terms; first-year exams are at the end of the second term. This ensures that everyone has the same foundation for second-year work, so there is no need to worry if you haven’t studied these subjects at sixth form; it also means that your summer term is exam-free! The lectures during your second year are focused on the different areas in Psychology, from Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience to Social Psychology. You also start conducting experiments, allowing you to be both participant and researcher. The thirdyear course is covered in four terms; during this year, you choose the specific areas you would like to concentrate on and are given the freedom to do your own research project. What makes Oxford different? è At Oxford, the Experimental Psychology course gives you the opportunity to learn from people who are at the forefront of their field and are currently conducting research in the particular area that you are studying. è The ‘experimental’ basis at Oxford emphasises the subject’s scientific grounding; often, students are given evidence based on new theories and experiments that have been conducted by their tutors or lecturers. è It is one of the few Experimental Psychology courses offered in the country. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? During your first year, you have to take part in different psychological studies as part of your course. Some of these can be quite boring, but for some you might be in an MRI machine, dreaming in a sleep laboratory or eating different foods – and you might even make some money, too! Essi Turkson Brasenose, 2nd Year Although the Experimental Psychology course at Oxford appealed to me, I was very hesitant to apply here. I was interested in how people worked and what caused different behaviours and really liked the scientific emphasis, but I was worried that I might be out of my depth. This turned out to be the complete opposite of my experience; my tutors cared about my opinion, even when I was wrong or my essays were bad. I only had one or two lectures a day and they started at 11am, so I had the time to do things outside of work. And, although I still do end up having to stay up late to finish some pieces of work, it’s mainly due to procrastination.

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FINE ART Fine Art is a subject unlike most studied here at Oxford. It is entirely practical and selfdriven. The course itself allows you to explore, alongside studying the history and theory of contemporary art, your own Fine Art practise, whether it’s through painting, drawing, sculpture, installation or film etc. The Ruskin is a vibrant environment for making art, and there are usually only around 25 Fine Art students in a year, which is what creates a really dynamic atmosphere for working collaboratively amongst your peers. The studios are divided between two sites: one on the High Street and one on Cowley Road, where all tutorials and seminars take place. Weekly lectures in the History and Theory of Art are mainly focused around twentieth and twenty-first century art as well as studying its philosophy and contemporary theory. What makes Oxford different? è In your first year, you have the opportunity to study Human Anatomy, and weekly visits are made to the medic’s dissection rooms to make drawings and learn more about the human body. è Studying at Oxford means that you have the advantage of having the university’s libraries at your fingertips – not to mention access to Modern Art Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum, which the Ruskin has, over the years, built up strong links with. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? One of the most exciting moments for me was being involved in an OVADA (Oxford Visual Arts Development Agency) exhibition in my first year. The process of installing my work in an old warehouse, taking it out of the studio and into public space, was a great learning experience. Fine Art is purely investigative and relies entirely on your own skills of motivation. Those who do Fine Art know that it is not simply a doss subject (though others like to convince us otherwise). It’s about studying something entirely devoted to generating new ideas, and contemporary visual thought, which, for me, is extremely exciting. Emma Papworth Queen’s, 2nd Year The first year, for me, was really useful as a way of introducing me to the school’s resources as well as having the opportunity to experiment with lots of different ways of working. Having already done a Foundation course before starting, I was quite relieved to find that the course wasn’t too structured around projects set by tutors, but instead, you were given the freedom to follow your own interests and strengthen your ideas through weekly tutorials and group critiques. Because The Ruskin is so separate from my college, it can sometimes feel as though I’m living a double life. But, at the same time, this has made me realise that this environment is extremely unique, and that, rather than being in an art school exclusively devoted to art and design, there is an advantage to being in amongst other students who are studying a wide range of different subjects across the university.

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GEOGRAPHY Geography, simply put, is a subject that investigates why the world is the way it is. Drawing on many practices and disciplines in the natural sciences and approaching them with a social science angle really helps you to understand how things work the way they do. Some of the things investigated in Geography may be biodiversity crises, the politics of change and the old favourite, climate change. Like many courses in the country, you don’t have much choice in your first year. There are four set modules: Human, Physical, Techniques (that means lots of Stats), and a course called Controversies (which is a mix of everything that doesn’t fit anywhere else). What makes Oxford different? è Having spoken to many people around college, I haven’t come across any other course that allows so much choice after the preliminary first year. è You can choose to specialise in anything from dryland environments to post-SovietUnion European relations. Or like me, not make your mind up and do a little bit of everything. What has been your favourite experience of the course so far? A great example of why studying Geography at Oxford is great is the fieldwork trips to either Tenerife or Copenhagen. I chose to go to Tenerife; there, I climbed a volcano, discovered species that had never before been found in a forest there, and still had time to lounge around the pool. Ashleigh Ainsley St Catz, 3rd Year My experience studying Geography has been fantastic; after all, there are few courses where you are able to take a week abroad with your mates and have it count towards your degree. However, much more than fieldwork opportunities go towards making Geography a great course. The range of different topics offered at Oxford, especially in human geography, make it a diverse subject – every week is different, so you never get bored by doing the same thing again and again. For instance, one week, I’m evaluating the World Development Report and then, the week after, I’m looking at why the kids’ film ‘Ice Age’ is scientifically wrong. The final great thing about Geography is it’s perfect for people who don’t (or do) know what they want to do after their degree. Everything from finance to policy to academia is a potential destination for graduates.

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HISTORY

History at Oxford is taught through a combination of lectures, classes and meetings with tutors, called tutorials. Historians have less “contact time” than most other subjects; in other words, you’ll be doing a lot of independent reading and research on different topics, making use of Oxford’s unique library provisions. There is a continuing focus on British and European History in particular, with these papers being compulsory for the first two years. As you advance through the course you pick up “Special” subjects, which are papers that centre on narrower areas, allowing for more detailed study of primary sources, as well as a wealth of secondary information. You continue to study the discipline of history itself (historiography) alongside the learning of historical events. This enables you to combine the knowledge you’ve learnt with a critical outlook and a better understanding of how present historical scholarship came to be. What makes Oxford different? è Oxford possesses a remarkable collection of libraries, museums and art collections which means that the study of history is interactive and engaging. You can see for yourself some of the artefacts which are referenced in books and lectures. è The flexibility of this course, from your options to your weekly timetable, allows you to really personalise it. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? One of the great things about doing a history degree at Oxford is that you’re accompanied by some of the world’s cleverest, and most enthusiastic, academics. In a lecture on Anglo-Saxon Britain, our lecturer decided to impersonate Archbishop Wulfstan and give dramatic readings.

HISTORY (ANCIENT AND MODERN)

Nikita Hayward Worcester, 2nd Year What appealed to me about Oxford’s History course was the amount of choice. Although you have to choose papers from categories, it’s unusual to have this range of options so early on in the degree. I think that’s important in a subject as broad as history, so that you can discover your own preferences. I’ve loved being able to take such contrasting options. In first-year, I covered the influence of Christianity in both AngloSaxon England and Renaissance culture. I’ve read about the rise of the mechanical arts under Da Vinci, and the impact of machinery on Europe’s industrialisation. Joe Rolleson Corpus Christi, 3rd Year The most common response you get when you tell people that you study Ancient and Modern History (AMH) is “Isn’t that like… all of history?”. Funnily enough, that’s not too wide of the mark. AMH is defined by freedom, flexibility and variety. Oxford considers ‘Modern History’ to be anything after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, so you’ll have access to all of the papers open to ‘normal’ historians, alongside a plethora of ancient options, too. Picture a sort of pan-historical pick and mix, if you will. It’s also worth noting that not having any Latin or Greek isn’t a hindrance at all; even Oxford tutors are progressive enough to know not everybody gets the chance to learn Latin at school! I can’t imagine any other history course at Oxford (or anywhere else, for that matter) being able to remain quite so fresh for three whole years, whilst helping to create a broad and comprehensive picture of human development across the ages. Being able to draw comparisons between Alexander’s tactics and Gaugamela and Marlborough’s at Blenheim is not only impressive, it’s also genuinely useful and it feels rather good, too. I’ve taken full advantage of the breadth and flexibility of the AMH course in choosing my options, but some of my course-mates consider themselves to be “ancient historians who dabble”. There’s no wrong way to do AMH, so if you want to learn about “like… all of history”, pick AMH. You won’t regret it.

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HISTORY AND ECONOMICS Sam Rakestrow Wadham, 2nd Year History and Economics is a course based around the combination of ideas. You get to learn history and economics not just as two separate disciplines, but as two parts of a combined approach to the world. So, whilst in your first year the course focuses on teaching you some basic ideas in both, you’re also encouraged to apply ideas from one to the other. In your second and third year, your choice of modules expands, so you can continue to combine ideas from both (and further your knowledge of each) in areas of economics and history that you’re interested in. You can even tailor the balance between the two to suit your tastes, creating a degree that plays to your strengths. In short, you’ll be able to take the lead in combining the two disciplines – the tutors will ensure you know about both, and will encourage you to seek out a new perspective that uses ideas from both.

I chose History and Economics as a course because it offered variety to my degree. Studying both history and economics means I have to switch between two different frames of mind depending on what I’m doing, which stops my work becoming monotonous – yet, because I’m encouraged to combine ideas from the two, the course still feels coherent and united. The tutorial system gives me the chance to actually apply and debate my ideas, and because my tutorials are shared with people who do other combined courses, I feel like I learn from them as much as I learn from my tutor.

HISTORY AND ENGLISH

Emily Frazier, Pembroke, 2nd Year History and English (‘Heng’) is one of the most flexible degrees Oxford has to offer. As a Heng student you control your learning. You can choose to swap Romantics for Shakespeare or the French Revolution for the European witch-hunts. You can keep the History and English components separate or embrace the connections between the two. Heng students are given the chance to think in more philosophical terms about their subjects. You’ll get to ask and explore questions like: Is literary style historical? Should the literary-canon exist? And what can we count as historical sources of a period? One particular aspect very unique to reading History and English at Oxford is the ‘bridge papers’. Heng students are taught in classes by leading academics in the cutting-edge inter-disciplinary theories that are currently being debated in academic circles. If you like the idea of exploring different disciplines and the possibility of testing fresh theories against your own selection of literature and historical sources, you should definitely consider the History and English joint course. I chose History and English because, while studying for my A-Levels, I found that making connections across disciplines was what excited me most about these subjects. I have the same work-load as single honours students – it’s just I get to pick which modules I am more enthusiastic about studying, which is ideal! I found the Heng ‘bridge-paper’ particularly stimulating and unique. Heng classes are small and intimate, making for a really close, open atmosphere between students. I was pleasantly surprised by how much everyone works as a co-operative unit here. History and English complement each other brilliantly. It has certainly given me a richer understanding of both subjects and a greater ability to create original arguments.

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HISTORY AND MODERN LANGUAGES

Kieran Keel Brasenose, 2nd Year

Studying History and Modern Languages is a bit like dating two very attractive people at the same time. You may love both subjects equally, but, at times, each one may demand a greater time commitment. Often, your tutors in History will be demanding subtly, but crucially, different things from your essays than your Languages tutors will be. That said, the course at Oxford is well-balanced and allows a degree of flexibility in your second and fourth years to give more bias to either the History or Modern Languages side. First-year is split evenly between the two, and across your four years you will study a period of world history, a ‘special subject’ covering a particular period or issue in more detail, a period of literature in your chosen language, and either linguistics or a set of prescribed authors. From there on, the choice is yours – you’ll be the envy of your non-joint schools friends. For me, it’s great – during Freshers’ Week, as everyone gave the same boring answers to “What are you studying?”, answering with “History and Spanish” instantly gave me the kind of edgy mystique I had only ever dreamed about. Over the course of the year, you’ll be amazed at how some of the most intelligent academics in the world can fail to organise a timetable simply because they’re from different faculties, but there’s no better (academic) feeling than pulling a killer point for an essay in one subject out of your learning for another. History and Modern Languages can at times be one of the toughest courses in the university, but ultimately one of the most rewarding.

HISTORY AND POLITICS

Kat Connolly Trinity, 2nd Year

History and Politics is an incredible course with a huge range of additional course options. The best part is that both subjects improve your knowledge of the other. Even a basic understanding of politics elucidates movements from Constantine to De Gaulle, and historical trends are clearly reflected in contemporary political manoeuvres. At Oxford, there is a huge number of resources at your disposal. The schedule of a History and Politics student is fairly straightforward: one or two tutorials and a few lectures per week. Most students’ weeks revolve around essay deadlines, which means that, between essays, you have plenty of free time. I chose History and Politics because I wasn’t ready to pick just one subject. I love History, but at the same time I wanted to take a wider variety of courses. The work is intense and essay crises are frequent, but you’ll find Hist/Pol students involved in every aspect of university life. A frequent piece of advice I receive from alumni is that if you do just your degree, it’s a waste of your time here. Oxford has so many opportunities for you to get involved in, and Hist/Pol allows you to do just that. Also, it’s okay if you haven’t studied Politics at A-Level or had a British education – the wide range of courses available means that students can play to their strengths and explore their interests.

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HISTORY OF ART Your first year will generally be spent getting to know the subject, with modules such as Introduction to European Art which help you get to grips with writing and thinking about art. In your second and third years, you get more opportunity to specialise, and there is a good number of modules to choose from. Courses range from Ancient Egyptian Art to the Experience of Modernity in nineteenth and twentieth century France! Exams are at the end of first-and third-year, and your Object Essay will be in first-year – a great chance to choose an artefact of your own and research it. You will generally get about one essay a week, each of which you’ll have a tutorial for, which is great as you get feedback from world-experts on both your style and content, so it’s easy to keep track of your progress. What makes Oxford different? èThe Oxford tutorials are a fantastic way of improving your writing, getting your ideas heard, and having a chance to discuss art with both your tutors and fellow students. èThere are loads of opportunities to explore artistic interests and organise events within student societies, museums, and colleges. èThe relatively small size gives the course a really friendly feeling, you get to know people really well, and there’s lots of socialising, which is lovely. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? Writing and researching my object essay was absolutely fascinating. I chose a thirteenth century apocalypse manuscript (see top right), but you can choose almost anything in Oxford. My supervisor was really lovely, and I got to handle this amazing object for myself – they let me look at it whenever I wanted!

Helen McCombie St John’s, 2nd Year I have enjoyed the course even more than I thought I would. It’s so great getting to learn from, and share your ideas with, people who are world-experts in their field. The tutorial system is great, getting to read and write essays so often means that you really consolidate your knowledge, and then getting a chance to go over it in person with a tutor is really helpful. Having tutorials in the Ashmolean Museum has also been great, really interesting, and keeps the focus on the art itself, which is what we all came here for!

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HUMAN SCIENCES Human Sciences is one of the most diverse courses you’ll find at Oxford, or at any other university in the country. In your first year, you’ll study Genetics and Evolution through to Sociology, Anthropology, and Geopolitics. This makes for a very interesting year in academic terms, and certainly teaches you how to balance your workload! While the general aim of the first year of study is to get everyone on the course on an even footing skills-wise, by third-year, you can choose from a huge list of more specialised options in Medicine, Psychology, and Anthropology. Everyone finds their niche and gets to explore an area of interest in their dissertation project; due to the truly interdisciplinary nature of Human Sciences, the piece has to draw upon at least two fields of study in the social sciences and in the life sciences. What makes Oxford different? è The scope of the course gives Human Sciences students a unique perspective on human life, as they study it from a wide range of academic perspectives as well as large time-scales. è Human Sciences is unique in that it is an even split of social and life sciences. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? My favourite project so far was part of a genetics tutorial in which we explored the different evidence for the human routes out of Africa, and how this has shaped the diversity of the human race today. Another interesting tutorial was a demography ‘roleplay’ where myself and another student were asked to imagine our lives as 19-year-old girls in the Rendille tribe of Kenya; it was an eye-opening experience to say the least! Anya Green New College, 2nd Year As a Human Sciences student, I get to study the less obvious fields that many courses wouldn’t possibly have the scope to cover, such as the study of human fossil remains in Palaeoanthropology. We also get a lot of freedom in organising our own time relative to other courses – having several lectures a week means a little bit of flexibility, and choice when arranging tutorials with tutors is always welcome. Also, I’ve found that the relatively small number of people on the course – 28 across the eight or nine colleges which offer Human Sciences – means that between lectures, tutorials and labs, we’re brought closer as a group. We often have socials in college bars, which make a nice change from seeing each other in a more stressful environment!

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LAW (JURISPRUDENCE) The Oxford Law course is split into two parts. In the first two terms of your first year, you will do Roman Law, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law. You will then be examined at the end of your second term on these subjects – although your marks don’t count towards your overall degree classification. From the last term of your first year, you will then study for your final exams at the end of third-year. The course is entirely exam-based aside from a compulsory extended essay you write for Jurisprudence (Philosophy of Law) at the end of your second year. What makes Oxford different? è It is nearly 100% exam-based. è You sit exams at the end of the second term of your first year and then you don’t sit exams again until the final term of your final year, meaning you get two exam-free summer terms! What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? In the final term of first-year, we were taken on two days out in London; the first day we got to visit a solicitors’ firm, the judicial office and a barrister’s chambers for drinks in the evening, and, on the second day, our tutor took us to the Court of Appeal to see a child-trafficking case.

LAW WITH LAW STUDIES IN EUROPE

Justine Rughooputh Wadham, 2nd Year I’ve really enjoyed studying Law at Oxford. I like the fact that we’re not examined until the end of the course; I know that it will give me the chance to do the best I can do (although ask me again at the end of my final year!) Throughout school, I was never a fan of coursework and preferred exams, so the Oxford Law course really suits me. There isn’t a lot of choice in what modules you take until final year, which gives you more time to think properly about which ones you do choose. Michaela Alka St Hilda’s, 2nd Year Everything that you do for the Law Studies in Europe aspect of the course is on top of what you would do for the single-honours three-year Law course. For German Law, there is another two-hour seminar each week where you’re taught the basics of German Law. Other European Law studies courses may include language classes too. You have a lot more work in comparison to your single-honours friends, but, come third-year, you’ll get to go abroad and study law in a European country for a year. Not only will you learn about the foreign jurisdiction there, you’ll also have an exciting year getting to know that country’s culture and will hopefully be fluent in that language at the end! I like the fact that our Law Studies in Europe seminars are held in a rather small group (there are 12 of us, but that varies from year to year) because you get to know a whole new group of people outside your college. Studying Law was very daunting for me at first as English isn’t my first language, making this already challenging subject even more difficult. But once I got into the habit of reading cases and writing essays, it kept getting better and better. So if you do struggle with learning Law in a different language to begin with, remember that as soon as you start to develop an understanding of all areas of the subject, you’ll gain confidence and you can look forward to an amazing third-year.

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MATERIALS SCIENCE Materials Science is a combination of Physics, Chemistry and Engineering, focusing on how materials behave, why they behave as they do, and how to improve them. The first year builds upon some of what you’ll have learned at school, especially in Maths and Physics, and introduces some new topics such as crystallography to give you the fundamental knowledge to understand metals, ceramics, polymers, semiconductors, superconductors – basically any material that you can think of in any application. Second-year delves deeper into the subjects introduced in first-year, while in third-year, you choose six advanced options that you are most interested in. The highlight of the course is fourth-year, when you will do a research project, supervised by a world-leading professor, and write a thesis on it. What makes Oxford different? è The department is really small and friendly. Lectures here are the size of classes at other universities, so questions are encouraged, and lecturers are approachable and happy to help you. è You will meet experts whose enthusiasm for materials rubs off on you, and makes learning more enjoyable. In tutorials you can follow your interests and learn beyond the problem sheet. è The small class size means you can use some more advanced equipment in labs that undergraduates at other universities wouldn’t normally get to use. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? There are lots of opportunities to travel, including industrial visits; the student-led industrial tour (22 of us went to Beijing last Easter); and research placements (I went to Tokyo last summer). The department gives a lot of help in funding these experiences, as they are so valuable for appreciating the work we do in the classroom. They are also really good fun! Alex Leide St Anne’s, 3rd Year If you had the same problem as me of not being able to decide between studying Chemistry, Physics or Engineering at university, Materials Science may suit you. By combining all three, I feel as if I could tackle any scientific problem pretty well, which makes the skills of a Materials Scientist highly sought after, as scientific research is becoming more multi-disciplinary. Materials is one of the most applied sciences at Oxford, so lectures always relate to something interesting in the real world – aerospace, computing, medicine, energy, almost everything has some interesting Materials Science in it. After four years, you will start seeing things in the world very differently!

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MATHEMATICS Congrats on considering Mathematics, the best subject at Oxford (biased, I know). You’ll find that university Maths is fairly different from doing it at A-Level. The idea behind Maths at Oxford is to learn how to prove or disprove statements as well as working out answers to questions like you do in A-Level. In your first year, everyone does the same topics in order to ensure that everyone is at the same level and has the basic skills necessary to do any of the courses in the subsequent years. In your second year, the courses begin to diversify so by the time you are in your third and fourth year, you have a ridiculously large array of topics you can pick to study. From Mathematical Biology to Set Theory or Quantum Mechanics, you can study almost anything, which is what really sets doing Maths at Oxford apart from other universities. What makes Oxford different è Having a college system means you have tutorials where it’s you, a course-mate and a tutor. It means you get to learn the material more easily. You don’t get that kind of contact time in other Maths courses. è The wide selection of topics you can select so you can burrow down and do the parts of Maths you really enjoy. è The New Maths Institute that has just been built and will be one of the largest maths department buildings in the world. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? Something I’ll always remember from my time studying Maths is when I was in a tutorial and my tutor told us that he had to cancel our next tutorial because he had to explain what he had just taught us to some of the scientists working in CERN. I won’t lie – it made me feel very important but it also taught me that when you learn new things in tutorials, you are actually learning something that matters; what you are taught in lectures is extremely valuable and can be used to make even more new discoveries.

MATHS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE

Omer Sheikh Mohamed Hertford, 3rd Year Personally, I’ve really enjoyed studying Maths. Having come from inner-city Birmingham, I had no idea what to expect from both the course and Oxford, but I found people here aren’t all posh and they’re not constantly trapped in the library either. Having a college system is something I really enjoy since you have an instant social network and you also get fiercely loyal to your college, so there’s always a great atmosphere during rugby/football/(insert your favourite sport) games against other colleges. Maths is also great with regards to meeting people since in your first couple years you’re in lectures with the rest of your year. Jimi Cullen Exeter, 3rd Year The Mathematics and Computer Science degree includes a roughly even mix of modules from each subject, with the opportunity to specialise more in the later years. There are both programming and more theoretical computer science courses available, taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials/classes, and programming practicals. The mathematics side doesn’t include as many applied courses (especially modules on dynamics/mechanics) as the straight mathematics degree. However, from the second year it offers a lot of choice to study topics that you’re interested in from different areas of mathematics. This course appealed to me because I was interested in programming but didn’t want to give up the logical thinking I love in mathematics. I get to study interesting and rigorous mathematics, to learn and practise programming, but also to apply the mathematical thinking that I have always enjoyed to topics in computer science. Sometimes it feels like this degree takes all the hardest courses from the two subjects – but it’s worth it, because those are often the most interesting! It’s an interesting, varied, and sometimes even fun (you read that right!) course.

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MATHEMATICS AND PHILOSOPHY

Ben Gardner Keble, 2nd Year

The Maths and Philosophy course has a pretty even split between both disciplines – although there is the choice in third- and fourthyear to focus more on one or the other. On the Maths side, the focus is on the purer topics such as Analysis, which is a module that looks at properties of functions and sequences, and Linear Algebra, which is all about the properties of matrices, vectors etc. There is a slight focus on the Philosophy side on topics like Logic, which is composed of a proof and problem based mathematical language, but you will still find yourself doing a fair amount of essays on topics like Epistemology. There is some flexibility in the courses, as all the options open to straight Maths, and Philosophy and Humanities students are technically open to Maths and Philosophy students, but you would find yourself having to catch up on some things if you wanted to do, say, an Ethics or a Statistics paper. I personally think the course is really well put together, and that the beauty lies in the overlap of the two subjects. Some courses complement each other really well, such as the Philosophy of Maths course and the Set Theory course, as both deal with the foundations of Maths, looking from both the philosophical and mathematical definitions for things. The main issue I have had is one of organisation, as there will often be timetable clashes and deadline pile-ups due to lack of communication between tutors of the two subjects, but overall it’s been really interesting, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS

Jingqiao (Joanna) Fan Queen’s, 1st Year If you do some statistical research on people’s reactions when they hear that you are studying Maths and Stats, the one that appears most frequently is the question: “Is there any difference between a straight Maths course and Maths and Stats course?” Well, in your first year, you study all the same modules as single-honours Maths students, and, apart from a slight difference to the examinations you sit in second-year, there isn’t any difference between the two courses in that academic year either. In third-year, Maths students choose all the options themselves and so, if you do Maths and Stats, you tend to choose lots of Stats and probability-based options. Basically, doing Maths and Stats gives you a greater variety of options, and more importantly, a wider range of career choices. Statistics can be applied to a lot of areas like Finance, Medicine, Biology, Psychology, and even Sports and Entertainment – imagine yourself doing statistical work for your favourite football club! Although studying Maths and Stats may be more intense and more tiring than studying other courses at Oxford or elsewhere (especially as you might have five or six tutorials per week – with a problem sheet for each tutorial), it’s also a lot of fun. Here, every lecturer has their own style of teaching to fully engage their students. After a probability lecture about Gambler’s Ruin and Random Walk, I immediately went to the library wanting more information on these theories and their applications. If you find something that you are really interested in and try to dig into the problem and learn by yourself, then you’ll fit right in at Oxford!

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MEDICINE Studying medicine at Oxford is considerably different from studying it at other universities. The preclinical degree is based around scientific principles – taught mainly via lectures and tutorials. Seminars are common; initially they can be a bit scary but they become tremendously useful. Practicals vary enormously; from the fun of electrocuting your peers to a lot of not-so-exhilarating pipetting. Anatomy teaching is comprehensive but not excessive. Little time is given to sociology (generally considered a revise-the-night-before subject) or to the patient-doctor course (finding patients willing to talk to baby medics isn’t easy!). Specialisation in the Medical Sciences degree occurs in third-year – a fairly relaxing year before starting the clinical part of the degree in fourth-year. At this stage, some students may go elsewhere for their clinicals, but those who remain with Oxford will probably spend a significant amount of time in the John Radcliffe Hospital (just outside the centre of town), become acquainted with real-life medicine, and very quickly pick up all those important clinical skills. What makes Oxford different? è You will write essay after essay after essay (even Arts students will sympathise). è Unlike at many medical schools, 9-5s are unheard of during preclinical. Some days you may have just 1 lecture! However, tutorials can be scheduled for frankly inhumane times of the day or night. è During final year, you get to go on an elective – working in a hospital outside of Oxford, in the rest of the UK or abroad. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? The most bizarre experience I’ve encountered has undoubtedly been in the Dissection Room where we do prosection – less slicing and dicing but more prodding and poking. It definitely acts as a better learning aid than impossible pre-dissection anatomy quizzes. Rhys Dore Worcester, 2nd Year I personally chose to study at Oxford because I knew that small-group tutorials would keep me on my toes and I wanted a good scientific grounding before attempting to apply my knowledge in a ward. My expectations have been hugely exceeded, both in an academic and a social sense. From eating chocolates in tutorials to scrutinising overflowing pots of urine in practicals, I have truly loved every minute of medical school, making a number of close friends with my coursemates. I’m really looking forward to the ability to specialise in my areas of study and carry out research work in third-year and am unbelievably excited about the years to come!

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MODERN LANGUAGES Modern Languages at Oxford is a diverse and varied course. It’s split 50/50 between ‘Content’ (literature and linguistics papers) and ‘Language’. In first-year, you don’t get much choice about what you study but it serves as a good introduction to the topics you pick in years two and four, where the choice is huge. For content papers, you’ll mostly study literature, although there are papers on linguistics and other, more broadly cultural topics. You can choose from basically any literary period, and because of the tutorial system, have the freedom to choose the topics that interest you. Language work centers on translation, and oral classes differ between languages, with your written proficiency being most focused upon. I’ve found this frustrating at times, but after the year abroad, you come back confident that you can speak your language(s) well. What makes Oxford different? è The Oxford course is more focused on literature than other Modern Languages courses in the UK. Sometimes it feels like I’m studying English Literature, only in another language. è There are lots of native-speaker tutors and many excellent resources for independent study. è The language work makes you think carefully about your writing style, not just whether it’s correct or not, which, in the end, really makes a difference to your spoken and written competence. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? My year abroad in third-year has to be the most memorable part of my course. Not only did I gain a year’s work experience, I lived in two very different countries. I taught English in a Technical School in Toulon (in the sunny south of France), and learnt the local dialect, Provençal. For the second half of my year abroad, I went to Paraguay where I volunteered for an education charity, teaching French and English to members of a small community. It was an amazing and very broadening experience that I’ll never forget.

MODERN LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS

Danny Rees St Anne’s, 4th Year I found the course challenging at first, as studying literature in another language can be daunting, but you’re given so much support and feedback on your work that you soon get used to it and I felt more confident after only a few weeks. I initially found language work here frustrating as it’s based on literary translation, but soon got the hang of it and find that it links in well with the ‘Content’ side of my course. Speaking classes are few and far between until fourth year, which is certainly a downside to the course at Oxford. Grace Kinsey New, 2nd Year Modern Languages and Linguistics is the perfect degree for someone interested in a particular modern language and its literature, as well as the more scientific aspects of language in general. Although we do have a few classes a week on translation and oral skills, the focus of the modern language part of the degree is on literature. In Linguistics, you look at how we produce sounds, how language has developed, and how it works in our brains. But don’t panic: you’re not expected to know everything already – the tutors just want you to be genuinely interested. In short, this course is very broad. Though you may not enjoy every element, if you love languages, you’re bound to fall in love with at least one part of it by the end of your first year. I really like French and I really like Linguistics; that’s why I chose this course. Luckily, employers like it too! They love a linguist any day, but the breadth of a Modern Languages degree combined with Linguistics will be even more impressive and show how versatile you are. I was quite surprised to find that the majority of this course is done in English. Although the texts I study are in French, we discuss and write about them in English.

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MUSIC

The Music course at Oxford is diverse and creative, and it allows you the flexibility to focus on what you like the most. The first-year course is made up of compulsory papers: techniques of composition, analysis, keyboard skills, and special topics. Special topics range from 13th century motet to global hip hop, and give a broad overview of music through the ages, which is really helpful when it gets to the compulsory history topics (pre/post-1750) for finals examinations. In addition to the compulsory papers, you can also compose, perform, or have deep thoughts about Bach – it’s up to you. The course is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, and is examined at the end of first-and third-year. What makes Oxford different? è There’s a lot of choice in what modules you do, especially in your second and third years. There is always a choice between performance, composition, or extended writing (although you can do more than one of these). è Compared with other university courses, there’s more of an academic slant. At Oxford, there’s a bigger focus on history and theory – and both are compulsory (in some form) in all years. è The wide range of module choices, which cover a large scale of genres, styles and periods. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? My favourite experience of Music at Oxford so far was the global hip hop lecture series in first-year. Everyone expects the course to be quite conservative and I enjoyed shocking my friends with unexpectedly ‘cool’ music. The lectures themselves were fantastic, and have inspired me to do a dissertation on popular music. Flora Sheldon, St. John’s, 2nd Year I was really worried before coming up to Oxford – so many uncertainties and unknowns. I was even more worried when I arrived, and saw what was actually expected of me! For me, the keyboard skills examination was possibly the most concerning part of the course. As a non-pianist, I was terrified by the prospect of a practical keyboard exam, but the tutorials prepared me really well and I felt really proud when I passed. I love that the course offers me the opportunity to do research whilst being supervised by world experts, and I also enjoy that I don’t have to compose or perform for my assessments – although many people do!

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ORIENTAL STUDIES For Oriental Studies, you study the language, literature, history and culture of a Eastern hemisphere civilization. To apply, you must choose between Arabic, Chinese, Egyptology, Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Hebrew Studies, Japanese, Jewish Studies, Persian, Sanskrit, and Turkish. (There are also some additional options within these languages.) Some are three-year courses, others are four with a year-abroad in second-year. Here are a couple of examples! Conor Dinan Wadham, 3rd Year

Reading a more obscure subject at Oxford is a totally different experience from being in one of the bigger courses. The courses Oxford offers in European and Oriental languages vary vastly in terms of how many undergraduates they take in across the university, and Turkish falls at the smaller end of the spectrum. As a Turkish student, your first responsibility is to acquire complete fluency in the language of Europe’s rising power, particularly in preparation for your year abroad in second-year (most likely spent in Istanbul), both through the intense grammar practices and speaking instruction of the first year. Besides the language, there are both history and literature requirements. With Turkish history comes a unique vantage point in understanding the Middle East, Islam and the role that tradition and change both play in a modern society; with literature, exposure to a writing tradition of amazing depth and antiquity. Turkish is a challenging language to learn but it’s also very rewarding. The small size of the Turkish course gives it a number of unique dynamics. Generally it is an asset; because of the familiarity and informality characterising relations with your tutors, they will make an effort to tailor your instruction to your interests. My year abroad afforded extraordinary opportunity to experience Turkey in depth, but the most memorable moments were during the Gezi Park riots, which went on for days, sometimes right underneath my window. I saw a popular uprising at close quarters, marched in the crowd that reclaimed Taksim Square and had the smell of tear gas permanently imprinted in my memory. Ellen Jones Univ, 2nd Year

Egyptology is a three-year course in which you study the language, history, literature, art and material culture of the ancient Egyptians. In your first year, you study Middle Egyptian (starting off with grammar and then moving onto texts) and the history and civilisation of both Egypt and the ancient Near East. After that you study Art and Architecture and Late Egyptian as well as an additional subject (this can be another ancient language or “Archaeology and Anthropology”). Finally, you learn Old Egyptian as well as hieratic (cursive hieroglyphs) and get the chance to handle actual artefacts in museum classes in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. You also narrow down your studies to a particular topic that then makes up the material for your dissertation.

I’ve always loved learning about ancient civilisations and their languages. Hieroglyphs weren’t easy to start with but I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and it’s a fascinating language to get to grips with. With three hours a week effectively one on one with an expert, it gets much easier to pick up. Studying the ancient Near East has been eye-opening; it gives you a broader understanding of the ancient world and the key players that enables you to look at Egypt from a different and intriguing perspective. The highlight of my year was the “Behind the Scenes” trip to the British Museum. They took us to see all the artefacts that they couldn’t display upstairs – there was stack upon stack of sarcophagi (mummies included!), statues, papyri, and pots.

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PHILOSOPHY AND MODERN LANGUAGES

Sophie Douglas-Bhanot Worcester, 4th Year

The Philosophy and Modern Languages course is expansive. It explores language, literature, and ideas that strike the ideal balance between breadth and depth. In first-year, in Philosophy, you’ll grapple with formal Logic, demystify J.S. Mill’s Utilitarianism, and take on life’s biggest questions: “What is knowledge?”, “Do I have free will?” or “Can I know I’m not dreaming?” In Modern Languages, you’ll develop your linguistic skills and explore key literary works in your chosen language. From secondyear onwards, in Philosophy, you decide what you study; the choice includes everything from Aesthetics to Wittgenstein. In your Modern Language, you can shape your literary studies around the periods and authors that appeal to you, as well as take up linguistics or advanced translation. You’ll spend third-year in a country where your chosen language is spoken, doing almost whatever you like – as long as you’re practising the language. I chose Philosophy and French because it combines my favourite modern language with analytical, critical, and creative thinking. Philosophy is a unique discipline in that it doesn’t concern any particular subject matter. Rather, it tackles the general problems at the foundations of other subjects. This makes philosophy the ideal candidate for a joint honours degree, and I’ve found French to be a perfect complement. Philosophy has enriched my reading of French literature, and French has given me concrete examples to test and support my ideas in papers like Aesthetics and The Philosophy of Logic and Language.

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Emily Smith Oriel, 3rd Year

The Philosophy and Theology course connects two huge and fascinating areas, involving the study of many of the greatest thinkers of history as well as exciting contemporary areas of debate. What makes the joint degree work so well is that the two disciplines are often closely related, and a study of each develops skills that are helpful in the other, raising interesting questions for both areas. The course offers a very broad range of options – though there are a couple of compulsory modules in each subject covering some of the most central and interesting topics. This still leaves plenty of room to study areas of particular interest to you though, and the flexibility of the course structure often allows you to choose these options as your interests develop. There is a lot of work, but it’s quite flexible, which allows you some freedom to choose when you work and find a balance with the rest of life. I have found studying Philosophy and Theology at Oxford incredibly exciting and fulfilling; most of the topics sounded interesting on paper, but definitely exceeded expectation. Having tutorials is amazing, and a real advantage to studying in Oxford, not only because you discuss fascinating topics with experts, but also because it provides a really supportive environment. I also love that you get to know other people who are enthusiastic about these topics, so you always have someone to turn to – whether for stimulating discussion, or just general chat. The course is challenging, but also constantly interesting, and I have never regretted choosing it.

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PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS, AND ECONOMICS (PPE) Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) is one of the most engaging courses that you can study. During the first year of study, you take an introductory course in each of the three subjects. In Politics, you look at political philosophy and comparative government; in Philosophy, you examine moral philosophy focusing on Utilitarianism, general philosophy and Logic; and in Economics, you look at both macroeconomics and microeconomics. In your second year, you can choose to specialise in two out of the three subjects or keep all three. This allows you to get rid of a subject if you find you are not enjoying it. What makes Oxford different? è Being taught in tutorials of two or three means that your tutors can take the time to make sure you understand and then push you to achieve your best. You get taught by people that are world experts in their respective areas and many have even written the textbook on the subject. For example, Sir John Vickers gives lectures on banking within macroeconomics and he chaired the Independent Commission on Banking! è PPE at Oxford is a famous course for a reason. It encourages the rigorous argument building and sharp thinking skills that have contributed to the course producing many of Britain’s top politicians. è PPE is one of the biggest courses at the university, so there are always lots of others to talk to about your subject. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? The student production, ‘A Theory of Justice: The Musical’, was one of many exciting extra-circular opportunities available last year. Billed as ‘an all-singing, all-dancing romp through 2,500 years of political philosophy’, it certainly lived up to this and it was great to be able to sit back and get all of the gags. Peter Connell Lincoln, 2nd Year I have thoroughly enjoyed studying the course, especially the tutorials. These are (or should be!) the high point of the academic week as you get to argue with your friends and tutor about what you have been learning for the last three or four days. This leads to enthralling discussions on such varied topics as the effect of addictive drugs on freedom, the most efficient way to provide pensioners with adequate winter fuel, and whether a doctor should be kidnapped in order to save a person’s life.

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PHYSICS

From Day One of the Oxford Physics course, you’re taught by world-leading experts, and, through a combination of lectures, labs and tutorials, you gain a thorough understanding of the subject. First year is 50 percent Maths, 50 percent Physics. Don’t worry if you haven’t taken Further Maths A Level – everything you need to know will be covered in lectures. The second year covers a broader range of topics, and tackles more advanced subjects like quantum mechanics. You begin to specialise in the third and fourth years, ultimately conducting a substantial project in a niche area of Physics in the final year. The course is flexible; you can opt to do more or fewer labs and there’s an option to teach in local schools or study a language as part of your degree. Oxford offers a three-year BA and a four-year MPhys course, but don’t worry too much about this, as you don’t have to decide which to do until the third year. What makes Oxford different? è There’s a strong emphasis on Mathematics which enables students to tackle more challenging problems, but it’s not so Mathsy as to become abstract and meaningless (like a Maths degree)! è The labs allow you to see how the theories you learn in lectures play out in the real world. This deepens your understanding and helps convince you that your degree actually has application and meaning. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? An interesting element of the physics course comes in second-year, when you have to give a 15-minute presentation on any topic in Physics to your tutors and college course-mates. Topics included optical tweezers, space elevators, an incredibly strange talk about using the eye as an energy source, and my own talk about the physics behind the success of British cycling, which ended up containing very little (if any!) Physics.

PHYSICS AND PHILOSOPHY

Dave Buckley Univ, 3rd Year The best thing about Physics at Oxford is that you are taught by researchers at the cutting-edge of their field. In first-year, one of our tutors was even on BBC News talking about neutrinos – very cool! The personalised feedback you get from tutors really is invaluable, and the tutorials and labs build upon the ideas introduced in lectures so you don’t get left behind. Labs are like marmite – some people love them, some people do the bare minimum to get through them. Falling into the latter category, it’s fortunate for me that labs only contribute a small percentage to the final degree! On the whole I’ve really enjoyed the course and am very excited for my final two years.

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Claudia Clarke, Trinity, 4th Year Initially, Physics and Philosophy may seem like a strange combination, but you’ll soon discover how these two subjects complement one another when you explore the philosophical implications and foundations of our scientific theories. With such a range of topics to cover and so many different skills needed to tackle them, you’re unlikely to ever be bored. During your first year, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’re studying for a Triple Honours Degree in Physics, Philosophy and Maths because most of the “Physics” you’ll learn will actually be Maths. Finally, one of the less esoteric perks of this degree is that you can learn important physical theories without having to spend hours upon end shut away in underground labs doing practicals, like the single-honours Physicists you’ll share lectures with. Since I’m now finding myself veering towards a career in Physics, I was relieved to discover that studying Physics and Philosophy, rather than just Physics, hasn’t disadvantaged me at all when applying for Physics placements. However, as all the Philosophy degrees at Oxford are Joint Honours, Physics and Philosophy obviously won’t be a disadvantage if you’d rather pursue Philosophy further. Fortunately for the undecided amongst us, sticking with both is also entirely possible!

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PSYCHOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY AND LINGUISTICS Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics is structured unlike most other degrees in the university, with exams after the second and fifth terms of your degree as well as finals at the very end. After the first set of exams, most will have to select two of the three disciplines, where you also get the freedom to choose the weighting of each through the number of papers you take in it. This way, depending on your own preferences, you get to share lectures and tutorials with other psychologists, philosophers or linguists. After each set of exams, you specialise further, but the course also becomes more demanding and will require the combination of your own insights with scientific rigour and good documentation. Your tutors will be experts in the subjects you have chosen, while you will be the connecting factor between disciplines that share a lot of issues. What makes Oxford different? è You have an incredible freedom in choosing your papers, so you can mix to suit your own preferences; no one on the course is doing quite the same degree. è You’re in lectures with students from different courses, so you meet lots of people throughout the university. è With a combination of practicals, written work, and participation in psychological experiments, the course should appeal to every type of learner. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? Many lectures on perception involved weird and wonderful visual illusions. Whenever we got to pick up some 3D-glasses at the entrance, we got excited. They worked even after we’d been told exactly how they were tricking the brain. Martine Wauben Pembroke, 2nd Year Personally, I have chosen to do Psychology and Philosophy, with a slight skew in favour of Psychology. This way, I have studied the human mind – both how it works and what it has produced. The course gives me the perfect background to answer questions about what makes a person and how we should approach identity (topics I find fascinating). Oxford is fantastic for both disciplines, and I benefit from this by being able to have tutorial discussions with leading researchers in the field. It has allowed me to combine the sciences and the arts, perfecting the skills in both.

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THEOLOGY AND RELIGION Theology is the oldest subject at the university, and accordingly there is a lot out there to study! The first year of the course (Prelims) is geared towards giving you a good grounding in the subject’s major areas, with all first-year students taking an ancient language (most often Biblical Greek or Hebrew) alongside a range of other papers – such as an ‘Introduction to the New Testament’ or the ‘Study of Religions’. In the second and third years, there is much more opportunity for scope and specialism. The course is designed so that you are required to choose an emphasis – either Biblical Studies, Church History or a World Religion outside of Christianity in which to specialise further. Alongside this, however, you can choose freely from a full range of papers on any topic, allowing you to build up a complementary degree, which really reflects your interests. What makes Oxford different? è One much talked about difference at Oxford is the tutorial system, which really comes into its own in Theology. For most tutors, you will prepare an essay each week on a given topic, and then spend an hour discussing and debating what you have presented. This is hugely helpful when tackling a complex problem, as well as really rewarding. è The course here offers opportunities for both in-depth and varied study, encouraging you to pursue areas you are passionate about, but maintaining some core elements in order to ensure that you finish with a balanced degree. What has been your favourite moment of the course so far? One of the best bits about the course so far has been the chance to study an ancient language. I chose to study Greek, and the intensive course was certainly hard work! Being able to read a biblical set text in its original language, however, was hugely satisfying. It felt like a great achievement after only two terms’ work.

THEOLOGY AND ORIENTAL STUDIES

Matt Gompels Keble, 2nd Year I started my Theology degree unsure of what to expect and wary of a ‘traditional’ style course. The truth is that Theology is incredibly diverse – it’s a melting pot of subjects. In the past year, I have studied a language, literature and history, with some philosophy and even some archeology thrown in for good measure. Crucially, there is no ‘typical’ Theology student, and the wealth of differing viewpoints within the subject makes for a fascinating and engaging debate. A big bonus is sitting your Prelims at Easter (one term earlier than most), which, although stressful in the short term, gives you a great exam-free Oxford summer! Sophie von der Tann St Peter’s College, 3rd Year I decided to apply for Theology and Oriental Studies, since it offers the great opportunity to study Christianity as well as another world religion, and to do intensive language training in order to get access to their key texts. During the first year, I concentrated on Theology modules and then decided to take Islam as my focus for the Oriental Studies side. The Arabic course in my second year was quite intense and rather challenging, but I spent a month in Amman in the summer, which helped a lot. It was a great feeling when the texts that used to look like beautiful but cryptic images of calligraphy slowly started to make sense! What I enjoy most about this degree is that it allows me to study a large variety of disciplines – ranging from theology, philosophy, history and language, to sociology and culture – in different religious contexts. As I am fascinated by the socio-political changes associated with modernity and its effects on religions, I did modules on Christian Reformation History, Reform Islam and Modern Judaism. This course has taught me many skills that are necessary for the career in journalism that I wish to pursue. I have learned to deal with a broad range of topics in a short amount of time, to filter lots of information and come up with a consistent argument, and, most importantly, it’s given me the chance to advance my love of writing!

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Oxford Life Oxford isn’t just a university; it’s a city too – albeit a much smaller one than the nearby London metropolis. Every year, it attracts hundreds of people (new residents as well as tourists) to its dreaming spires. That’s because, not only is it a beautiful city, it also has an abundance of delicious restaurants, cosy and classy bars and pubs, fascinating museums and exhibitions, and much more besides. All of this makes it an ideal place to live as well as study, and students here don’t let it go to waste. 136 Oxford Traditions 137 Oxford City Life 138 Entertainment 138 Clubs 139 Food 139 Pubs

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Unfortunately, we only have enough room in this prospectus to give you a sneak peek of what the city of Oxford has in store. If you want to find out more, check out OUSU’s City Life Oxford, a comprehensive guide to all the best spots in the city. Written by current students, you’ll find lots of insider info and some of the well-kept secrets of this ever-surprising little metropolis. It’s available online, just search ‘OUSU City Life ISSUU’ or find it in the Publications section of the OUSU website.

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Oxford Traditions

As the second oldest university in the world, there are still some relics of our past that are quite frankly bizarre. However, whilst such customs are odd, they are also a lot of fun. Soon you will be talking about the joys of matriculation whilst in subfusc, to the utter confusion of your friends and family.

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May Day This is one of the central events in the Oxford calendar. What May Day normally entails is going out until late, and then deciding to forgo sleep altogether in favour of waiting outside on Magdalen Bridge until 5 am to hear the Magdalen choir sing from the college’s tower. The highly irresponsible practice of jumping off the bridge whilst tired and inebriated is not recommended. Trashing You know that nice subfusc you bought for matriculation? You may want to get the number of a good dry cleaner. Your reward for finishing your final exams is to have all manner of household products thrown at you. Just ask your friends in advance to throw clothingfriendly foodstuffs at you, particularly as Proctors, the senior supervisors of the exams, are fond of fining anyone they see throwing their groceries about Examination Schools cobbled entrance. Matriculation It’s the totally unnecessary ceremony to mark that you’re officially a student at Oxford! On the morning of your second Saturday in Oxford, you go to the historic Sheldonian Theatre in your subfusc. You get read to in Latin for twenty minutes, then you’re released into the October sunshine. It’s usually a warm(ish) day, so afterwards you normally go punting/drink the cheapest cava from Tesco (normally at the same time), before going off to some terrible club night or college-approved house party ironically titled ‘Matricu-lash’.

Punting This is often more for the benefit of the tourists than the students, but you’ll almost certainly go on a punt at least once during your time here. A punt is Oxford’s answer to Venice’s gondola. Except the person propelling the boat is yourself, using a long metal pole to push off the riverbed. Being able to actually steer one properly is highly exceptional.

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Subfusc If Oxford is a city state, then subfusc is our national dress. It’s a sort of formal uniform that you wear for matriculation (see below) and for every official exam you do. It isn’t as scary as it sounds. As long as you have a dark suit, or a white shirt and black skirt, then all you need in addition is a white tie or black ribbon, a gown, and a mortar board – all available once you get to Oxford for the very reasonable price of around £30. The gown is a requirement for college formal dinners, but sadly, you’re not technically allowed to wear the mortarboard until graduation. Still, it’s great for costume parties.

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oxford life

City Life There’s more than one Oxford out there. This city caters to a wide range of interests and tastes. Here’s a rough breakdown of the city, and turn the page to see more of what the city has to offer.

City Centre This is the side that you see on the postcards, and it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to walk to lectures upon cobble streets. With a college on every street, it’s understandably the central hub of the university social scene. It holds a number of supermarkets and chain stores as well as independent traders, large and small. (My personal tip is to check out the markets in Gloucester Green and the more permanently installed ‘Covered Market’ off Turl Street.) Most of the bars, restaurants and cafés of the town are concentrated here, but for some of the town’s hidden gems, you ought to look a little further out. East Oxford East Oxford is made up of three areas, clustering around the three eponymous roads of the Magdalen roundabout: St Clements, Cowley and Iffley. All of these areas are popular with students living out as they offer nice big Victorian houses and some of the cheapest rents in Oxford. If you want a break from spires and tourists and punting and gowns go to the Cowley Road: it’s the ‘edgy’ side of town, full of cheap, ever-changing restaurants, bars, specialist local supermarkets selling Greek cuisine, and clothes shops that don’t stock sub fusc. Jericho Calm, classy and right next to Port Meadow, Jericho is an attractive, albeit slightly more expensive, living-out option for many students. Go there for a romantic dinner or drinks in one of its many specialist establishments, and walk under the fairy lights that line the street. Headington Popular with medics and Brookes students, due to its proximity to the John Radicliffe Hospital and the Brookes campus, Headington has its own town centre with restaurants, delis and many charity shops, not to mention its own Oxford Tube stop. Summertown Pretty and leafy and quiet, Summertown is home to commuter families but also a surprising number of students. Check out the charity shops for bargains and South and North Parade for some classy eats out. The area is clean, safe, pretty and it has both independent and well-known shops like Starbucks and Marks & Spencer.

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Entertainment

For your archetypal freshers’ experience, check out the Clubs section; for a meal out, see Food; and for anything from a ‘quiet one’ to a night on the town, look at our definitive Oxford Pub crawl, as suggested by current students. However, if you’re stuck for somewhere to go with your mum, or something to do for a break from a worksheet or essay, Oxford will never see you short.

Cinemas It’s pretty easy to watch the latest blockbusters in Oxford – just head to one of the Odeon Cinemas on Magdalen Street and George Street (both very central locations). For something a little more indie, check out one of the Picture Palaces; there’s one in Jericho and one off the Cowley Road, both of which frequently play upcoming independent films as well as cult classics. Film buffs should keep an eye out for Magdalen Film Society, which screens films of all eras in the Magdalen Auditorium at very cheap prices – wine and snacks included! Theatre As well as the many term-time student theatre productions, The Oxford Playhouse and its little 50-seater brother The Burton Taylor Studio play host to touring London productions, while the New Theatre is a popular stop for bigname comedians such as Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies, and sell-out musicals such as The Full Monty and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the less publicised shows, the student reviewing sites such as Oxford Theatre Review, and the student newspapers’ culture sections are a good way to keep up to date with the latest productions – and, if you fancy writing for them, a good way to see these productions and their previews for free! Gigs The O2 Academy on the Cowley Road is where the big name musical acts go to perform. In the past few months, Azealia Banks, Bonobo and Katy B have all played there. For classical music, the breath-taking architecture of The Sheldonian Theatre is the perfect setting to listen to symphonies at attractive student-prices. On Tuesdays, the Bullingdon Arms does a very popular jazz night, and the university’s Jazz Soc showcase (normally in the lofty Wig and Pen club) some of the best talent from the student body as well as from local professional artists.

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Clubs Junction Arguably the club with the weirdest themes in Oxford, The Junction is the ideal meeting point if you are a fan of road signs and somewhat annoyingly positioned fake rocks. Junction is best known for the one-off or termly nights that go on there, most notably ‘Itchy Feet’, an electro-swing dreamland, and ‘Countdown’, which travels back in time musically, going back a decade every hour from the present day to the ‘50s. Park End (Lava Ignite) Every Wednesday, 1200 of Oxford’s finest(ish) make the pilgrimage to Oxford’s largest club – Park End. Boasting 5 bars, a VIP area full of fancy-dress wearing sportspeople, an RnB room, a house/ club room, and the ‘cheese’ floor, it’s a cult classic. There are few other places you’ll be guaranteed the Pokémon theme song at 12am and can end a night with your arms around various strangers, belting out Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ without looking out of place. Wahoo Wahoo is the place to be on a Friday night. Extremely cheap drinks and cheesy chart music make it one of Oxford’s premier hot spots. Be warned, though – the queue is notoriously long after 10.30pm so make sure you get there earlier to not miss out on easily one of the best nights of the week. Babylove What might appear on the outside to be a small, dingy, and often sweaty bar with decidedly dubious décor is for anyone and everyone with a hatred for chart fillers and tacky commercial venues. Playing host to a wide variety of sounds from ‘80s classics to the post-ironic ‘90s nostalgia, Babylove has something to please everyone – but if you think you could do better, this venue is one of the few in Oxford that enables students to realistically run, DJ and promote their own club nights. Bridge The Bridge on a Thursday night is a staple of the Oxford University clubbing scene. The DJs seem to have an obsession with Adele remixes, but generally play the chart hits that you ‘hate’ but secretly love – finding others who feel similarly will lead to the formation of many long-lasting friendships. The ‘Arabian Nights’ themed smoking area is my personal favourite, with gazebos, cushions, and Astroturf to make those drunken conversations that much more comfortable.


 Food

Sophie Douglas-Bhanot profiles some of the best tastiest, trendiest, and cheapest eateries in town. Combibos, Gloucester Green Independent and family-run, Combibos is arguably Oxford’s friendliest café. Free Wi-Fi and a student discount make it a cosier, tastier alternative to the library. Their mouth-watering breakfasts, served until 11.30am, are enough to transform even the most nocturnal of night owls into an early bird. Edamame, 15 Holywell Street In spite of its concealed location and “quirky” opening hours, this tiny Japanese restaurant is typically tailed by a 15-minute-long queue at lunch and dinnertime. However, the food – delicious Japanese home-cooking at student-friendly prices – is more than worth the wait. Organic Deli Café, 24 Friar’s Entry Passionate about organic, Fairtrade and locallysourced produce, The Organic Deli Café serves freshly-prepared breakfasts and lunches, as well as smoothies, shakes and sweet treats, to eat in or take away (in compostable packaging, of course!). Vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs are spoilt for choice. Pierre Victoire, 9 Little Clarendon Sreet, Jericho For a truly authentic French dining experience in Oxford, book a table (to avoid disappointment) at Pierre Victoire. You’ll discover classic French cuisine served by French-speaking waiters (a chance to reel off those phrases you learnt at GCSE in your best accent), a charming interior and a relaxed ambience. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the prices. Qumin’s, 86 St Clement’s Street Perfectly at home in East Oxford’s trendy restaurant quarter, this chic Indian restaurant brings together tradition and innovation, with delicious results. Their sumptuous menu is a mix of classic favourites and original dishes in which Eastern flavours are given a Western twist. Qumin’s is sophisticated Indian dining at its best.

Pubs

oxford life

Oxford is famous for its pubs. Booklovers come from far and wide for a pint in C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s favourite haunt, The Eagle and Child, or to visit The Lamb and Flag, where Thomas Hardy is supposed to have written Jude the Obscure. They’re both great places to spend an evening but not every pub has seats with the imprints of famous writers’ backsides nor are they all named after animals. We got some current students to give us their own evening tour of the best pubs and bars in the land. THE KING’S ARMS, Parks Road, OX1 3SP It may be a little bit on the expensive side – but you can’t fault the KA on its central location, its lively atmosphere, and its delicious pub grub. Apparently, it’s got the highest IQ per square foot in the world, but I don’t know if that’s to do with the customers or the size of the pub. (Ruth Maclean, 2nd Year, St John’s) HI LO, 68-70 Cowley Road, OX4 1JB This Cowley establishment serving Jamaican food, beer and wine is shrouded in Oxford myth: apparently the prices fluctuate according to whatever mood the bar staff are in and David ‘call me Dave’ Cameron used to go there so much in his hipster days he ended up babysitting the proprietors’ children... If you like patties and dark atmospheric drinking spaces, go here. Large parties should book. (Yara Rodrigues-Fowler, 3rd Year, Wadham) FREUD, 119 Walton St, OX2 6AH It’s a bar in a church! The beautiful stained-glass interior is a great place to go for a Monday night cheeky mojito (or another one of the 60 cocktail options on the menu) with your mates. They run a few nights a term with live music and DJs of all kinds, and even though it’s one of the largest bars in Oxford, it can get pretty packed out at weekends. The 15 per cent student discount doesn’t hurt either… (Daniel Piper, 1st Year, LMH) GARDENER’S ARMS, 39 Plantation Rd, Jericho, OX26 Vegetarian food and pubs might seem like an incongruous pairing but as this cheerful and unassuming establishment shows, this need not be the case. Tucked away in the deepest, darkest leafy recesses of Jericho, this traditional pub offers reasonable prices, a good-natured ambiance and a slight boost to your ethical credentials with its delicious veggie grub. (Olivia Arigho-Stiles, 3rd Year, Somerville) THE OLD BOOKBINDERS ALE HOUSE, 17-18 Victor Street, Jericho, OX2 6BT It’s a bit out of the way but well worth the trek. A selection of ales are served by lovely, welcoming staff, and the interior is quaint and homely. But the star of the show is the food. The father of this family-run establishment cooks hearty, affordable French cuisine with crêpes to die for. The student £6 menu is varied, value for money and guaranteed to fill you up. And if you still need convincing, Morse solved his first televised murder within these four walls. (James Restall, 3rd Year, Lincoln)

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get involved

A common concern that students have when they think about applying to Oxford is whether or not they’ll have time to continue to carry on doing all the things they loved to do before starting university – or even if there’ll be the provisions or the people to do them with. Fear not: whatever your interests and ambitions, Oxford’s got something for you, and if you take a look at our student diaries on pages 142-143, you can get an idea of how students manage to fit so much in! We’ve tried to cover as many different activities as possible but this list is by no means exhaustive… 142 A Week in the Life of an Oxford Student 144 Sport 145 Music 146 Drama 147 Media and Journalism 149 Politics 150 Charities and Volunteering 151 Religion 152 Other Societies

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a week in the life of George Gillett, 2nd Year, Medicine I normally have quite busy mornings with timetabled lectures and practical classes, with the rest of the day free for independent study. We have two or three tutorials a week, with each requiring either an essay or a problem sheet to be completed beforehand. I’m involved with student journalism and politics.

Alex McCormick, 2nd Year, Physics Each week, I have about 12 lectures (normally in the morning), two tutorials, and one day in labs. The remainder of my study time is spent doing problem sheets. Outside of study, I enjoy playing squash, doing a bit of drama and tutoring Maths to secondary school students.

Monday

Tuesday

Spend morning and afternoon in labs working with a partner on our chosen practical

Wednesday

Production meeting at Oxford Playhouse – I’m currently Tutorial on Marketing Manager for a student electromagnetism production of The Producers which opens next week Go to Park End, Oxford’s biggest club! Not particularly Visit a local school to spend an productive, but I’m due a hour tutoring GCSE students in break! Maths as part of Oxford Hub’s Schools Plus Scheme

Thursday

Meet up with other physicists to work through our problem sheet (due at 5pm) together – it’s much more enjoyable this way

Problem sheet

Go to the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre for lectures – on most days our timetable starts at 9am Work on a neurology essay for a tutorial this week – it’s based on how we perceive pain

I like to do early mornings on Monday – so getting up at 9 to do reading before my first lecture about Popular Politics in Early Modern England at 12pm. I usually read a chapter or two from a book, or an online journal article

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Work in the college library on another essay (on HIV) for a tutorial later in the week. Fortunately, tutorials are usually arranged in synchronisation with our lectures and practical classes, so that we have been taught the core elements of a topic before writing an essay on it

Go to OUSU council, which is the meeting of our student union. I’m the representative of our college, which means that I represent the views of St Anne’s students at meetings. Every student is automatically a member of OUSU, and anyone is welcome to attend meetings Finish the HIV essay in the college library. There is an open mic night event in the college bar, so I head over to watch and have a few drinks with friends

As part of the committee for the History Society, I go to a formal dinner with our speaker that evening – Henrietta Leyser, a medieval historian with a specific focus on women’s role in the Middle Ages. We then take her I have a Russian Language class at to the lecture theatre where the Language centre. It’s for absolute she gives a really interesting beginners so we all spend two hours presentation about Christina of Markyate, a twelfth century holy looking confused at Cyrillic letters woman It’s the Student Union election week, and I’m running for a position, so I spent the morning campaigning by handing out flyers. I have a lecture on the Elizabethan Restoration at 12pm. Then I have a long lunch

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I have my tutorial on HIV. Lots of interesting points are raised, and we discuss potential cures of the future

I meet my friends at the pub and find out I have been elected as Oxford’s NUS Delegate. I go clubbing to celebrate


get involved Mirela Ivanova, 2nd Year, History I normally have one or two hour-long tutorials a week. Most of the rest of my work is done in the college or central Bodleian Library; journal articles are available online, though, which means reading in bed! I am really involved in journalism, my college student union, the History Society and the central Oxford University Student Union.

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Lectures, lectures, lectures

Lie-in

Tutorial on mathematical approaches to physics

Attend the college bop – a party held in the college bar with a fancy dress theme. It’s a great excuse to have fun and get away from the work for a bit!

Cook dinner with friends and watch a movie together

Work in my room.

Wake up late, slightly hungover, and head into the Work in the college library writing up our report of the OxStu office. The practical classes this week. It doesn’t take long, but it’s OxStu is our student a good way to consolidate what I’ve learnt, and these newspaper and practical books are assessed as part of our examinations this term I’m the editor of the SciTech Go to a college medic curry night. It’s a good opportunity section, so I edit the to eat at a local restaurant and get to know students in articles and design other years. It’s good fun and is also BYOB, which always the section before it ends up with us heading out to a club afterwards goes to print Lectures, lectures, lectures

Lie-in I go to see a student production of Chicago at the Keble O’Riley Theatre, which I have to review for the Oxford Culture Review, an online student journal. Press tickets are free!

As a brand manager of Teach First, I go to a careers brunch in Christ Church, and chat to some students interested in teaching I try to think of a witty costume for the College Bop which is themed “Myth and Mystery”. In the end I give up and go as one of the Scooby Doo team

I play a bit of squash with a mate from another college.

Work in the college library Head to the college JCR meeting in the evening – it’s a good chance to raise any issues or concerns you have as a student, and also comes with the promise of free pizza!

I write the Chicago review and send it to my editor In the evening I cook a massive communal pasta dish with my seven housemates. I do some preliminary reading (at an intentionally slow pace) and spend the rest of the night chatting in our living room

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sport

From athletics to archery, lawn tennis to lifesaving, triathlon to tai chi, with over 85 university-recognised sports clubs, Oxford truly caters for every student interested in playing sport. Whether you’re someone whose footballing prowess is closer to that of David Dimbleby than David Beckham, the combination of college and university teams ensures that everyone can play to the level they want. In fact, over a quarter of the university’s student body participates at some level! At the top of the athletic pyramid sits the annual varsity matches. Whether you’re in University Parks watching the lacrosse team, or on the side of the Thames cheering on the university rowers, each varsity match unites current students and alumni against a common enemy: Cambridge. The university (Blues) teams train every day, throughout the year, in all weathers, for their one chance to ‘shoe the tabs’ (beat Cambridge). It is the pinnacle of a sporty Oxonian’s year. If the sight of old men and women making themselves hoarse with a tirade of insults to Cambridge alumni on the opposite sidelines isn’t enough to inspire you, I don’t know what will.

at many universities, with many colleges offering not only first teams, but seconds, thirds, and sometimes fourths. The college teams provide a great chance to socialise with those outside of your course, and the countless matches throughout the terms offer everybody a chance to sample the sweet taste of victory. In fact, on Wednesday evenings (when most sports teams celebrate their victories / drown their sorrows, in Park End) you’ll find many a college sportsperson who savours their last-minute try-saving tackle as prestigious as they would walking out for the Blues at Twickenham. Under the steady hand of the University Sports Federation, which looks after all sports teams, at all levels, Oxford provides an ideal sporting structure for the elite and the everyman, and college and university bodies, in an effort to widen participation, ensure that no interested sportsperson should have to go without the proper equipment or opportunities for lack of funding. From the oldest Athletics club in the world, to relatively recent clubs like Quidditch, there’s no better place to participate and excel in a sport you love.

This intense kind of rivalry is not reserved just for those Dark Blues in the higher echelons of student sport. Indeed, the true gem of sport in Oxford is in its collegiate system, wherein the inter-college rivalries played out each week are, at times, even stronger than against Cambridge. It is perhaps not surprising given that with its Cuppers (inter-collegiate) tournaments, Oxford can boast to hosting such prestigious events as the oldest football tournament in the world. The ease of participation in college sport is unrivalled

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music The music scene of Oxford is unbelievably active. If you love music as a performer or as a listener, I guarantee that you will never be short of opportunities to take part in or hear great music-making throughout the university. If anything, the number of events that you can choose between might seem overwhelming at first. This is where OUMS can help. The Oxford University Music Society is the umbrella music organisation of the university. If you are an instrumentalist, you will come to know us primarily through the eight official university ensembles we manage. These range in focus and repertoire: from the Oxford University Orchestra – one of the finest student ensembles outside of the London conservatoires, to the Oxford University Jazz Orchestra, Oxford University Student Chorus, and many more besides. Visit oums.org to find out about each of the official OUMS ensembles. Places in most of the OUMS ensembles are offered following informal auditions held at the end of Freshers’ Week. We have groups to suit any technical standard, and we can also provide you with information about joining a host of other auditioning and non-auditioning Oxfordbased ensembles such as guitar societies, college choirs or a cappella groups. What’s more, we also send out a weekly newsletter that summarises all upcoming concerts and performance opportunities, so you’ll never miss a thing.

get involved

Here are just a few examples of the wide range of musical societies that you can get involved in: The Oxford Belles Oxford’s sassiest a cappella group performs contemporary and classic songs. Superbly. Oxford University Chorus Oxford’s largest non-auditioning choir, with weekly rehearsals and termly concerts. Oxford University Ceilidh Band Folk music – not just for folkies. Tunes, gigs, sessions, pub. Oxford University Jazz Society Jam nights and guest bands every Tuesday. Players & listeners welcome! Hertford College Music Society Non-auditioning society that loves making music – all colleges welcome!

The main thing to know as a performer before applying to Oxford is that you will never be short of opportunities to play. It is incredibly easy to organise solo recitals in the city’s beautiful chapels, or to play in a group of any standard.

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drama Drama at Oxford is a bit complicated. There are more plays put on here than at any other UK university, and in the rush of auditions, rehearsals and theatre bids, it’s easy to feel lost. Firstly, there’s OUDS (Oxford University Drama Society), which is the umbrella theatre society. It provides funding and runs an annual national tour that goes to London, Edinburgh, and other locations. When you arrive, it’s a good idea to go to the socials, as you’ll meet lots of other people who are interested in turning British theatre on its head™. OUDS does not produce shows itself – it helps you produce the shows that you want put on. All you need is a sensible budget, a good concept for your show and some idea of how you’re going to sell it. So, say you really want to put on your genderblind, all-nude reworking of 'The Seagull'. Get a team together by asking your friends or advertising and work out a budget, design, and marketing plan. This is your bid. Present it to a theatre and to funding bodies (set up to allow any student to put on their own show) and cross your fingers. Let’s break down the available theatres: The Burton Taylor Studio is a 50-seater black box and is exclusive to students. The Oxford Playhouse is the biggest theatre students have access to with 600 seats. It hosts two student shows per term. In between these two extremes you have a whole range of college theatres. The O’Reilly (180 seats) in Keble and the Simpkins Lee (120) in Lady Margaret Hall are the most popular, being most friendly to bids from students outside those colleges. There are also theatre-

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spaces in St. John’s, Pembroke, Corpus Christi, Balliol, Wadham, and St. Hilda’s, but they tend to be only open to bids from their own students. The other really important drama society is TAFF. Tabs Are For Flying is the technical society, and their mailing list is your first port of call for technical people. If you are interested in the behind-the-scenes side of theatre then you will find a welcoming network of current techies who are happy to pass on their knowledge. But it’s not just TAFF and OUDS. There’s the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, who do a show every term exclusively from the G&S canon. The Light Entertainment Society (OULES) performs charity pantos for local schools and retirement homes. The Oxford Revue are our version of the Footlights, and do fortnightly open mic nights as well as regular sketch shows, a panto and a onenight extravaganza at the Playhouse. The Oxford Imps are an improvisational group who perform weekly at a local pub. If there’s not a society that currently fits your specific interest, why not start one up? Student theatre is about making terrible, terrible mistakes, learning the whole time and feeling amazing when you make something that works. Good luck!

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media and journalism

When it comes to media and journalism, you’re really spoilt for choice. Whatever platform or role you’re interested in, the student media is always keen to have more passionate writers, marketers, producers, editors, photographers, presenters... you get the idea. Oxford has the luxury of having two weekly student newspapers. Their strengths change year upon year as the editorial staff change every term, and each are produced on professional software and have a print-run of over 15,000. The Oxford Student (the OxStu) is run and subsidised by OUSU. In the past, it has had the reputation for being very strong in its news-reporting with several of its writers being nominated for Best Reporter in the Guardian Student Media Awards. Cherwell is the UK’s oldest student-run independent newspaper, which has arguably the most popular recurring features: Blind Date and Fit College (both very light-hearted and pretty self-explanatory). Cherwell is published under a student publishinghouse called OSPL, which also publishes three termly magazines: ISIS, Industry and Bang! Industry is an upcoming and innovative fashion magazine, Bang! is a “graphically gorgeous scientific magazine”, and ISIS is Oxford’s leading culture and politics magazine. Founded in 1892, ISIS is something of an institution and has gone through several reinventions since its launch. Like every university, we have our own ‘The Tab’ affiliate for students more interested in tabloid-inspired online journalism. This list is by no means exhaustive, with new magazines (in print and online) sprouting up all the time – from secretive satirical publications such as The Oxymoron to societies (such as The Failed

Novelists Society and the Poetry Society) for aspiring writers. When it comes to digital formats, Oxford is still a little bit behind the times with regards to broadcasting and film-making, but, over the past years, a few business-minded bright sparks have started up lots of new societies and secured funding from different bodies. Now, the OUFF (Oxford University Film Fund) is at hand to help aspiring directors, producers, actors and scriptwriters get experience in these areas. Oxford Broadcasting Society often hosts speakerevents with BAFTA-winning documentarymakers, and The Preview Show, a culture broadcast, has recently started to expand into making longer, more investigative documentaries about Oxford life. Most of these bodies have the equipment needed to make films and broadcasts, saving you from having to shell out for your own cameras, booms, etc., but, as these societies have just been established, there may be waiting lists and security deposits. But, if you prefer more traditional broadcasting methods, you may be interested in Oxide – Oxford’s 24/7 student radio station. Many of today’s journalists, broadcasters, and other media moguls began work here and in recent years, writers and editors of these publications have secured jobs at the BBC, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, NME, and Vogue. Even if you’re not career minded, the thrill of taking part in any of these exciting works is a welcome break from work and a great opportunity to meet students at other colleges.

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politics Any socially conscious and politically active student will be spoilt for choice upon coming to Oxford. There are hundreds of different ways you can make a difference to your college, your university, the town, and to the world at large. We’ll start by explaining what OUSU – the body that brings you this prospectus. Run by students for students, OUSU exists to enhance the student experience at Oxford. Six sabbatical officers and 18 part-time executive officers, elected annually by the whole of the Oxford University student body work hard to ensure that Oxford’s 22,000 student voices are heard within the university and the local community – international or home student, undergraduate or postgraduate, OUSU represents them all. OUSU deals with university-wide issues like fee waiver and bursary negotiations, representation on national debates surrounding higher education and its funding, liaising with the local council and much, much more. Its also supports 12 student-led campaigns. These include RAG (Raise and Give) the charity arm of OUSU, CRAE (Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality), Target Schools and the LGBTQ Campaign. OUSU works with and supports Junior Common Rooms (JCRs) across the collegiate University. As a member of a college, students at Oxford are also members of their individual JCRs. These are run by a student-elected committee, kind of like a sixth form committee, who work to support and represent students within the college environment, i.e. on rent issues and welfare support. They work with colleges to decide on some college policies and on how funding allocated to the JCR is spent. Whether your political tendencies lie to the right, centre or left of the spectrum, the socials, speaker events and campaigns are plentiful across the parties. Recently, the Labour Club (OULC) hosted Jacqui Smith as guest speaker, the Conservative Association (OUCA) brought in Michael Howard and Vince Cable paid a visit to the Lib Dems (OULD). Upon arrival, you’re sure to meet someone who shares your views and, at some inevitable stage, ends up relying on your vote! Freshers’ Week is the ideal time to sign up, meet members of committee and

get involved pick up each one’s much-anticipated Term Cards, which show off the best each society has to offer. If you’re undecided on where to begin, or what your political affiliation is, try out a weekly social: OULC’s casual Weekly Drinks, OUCA’s Sunday evening ‘Port and Policy’ or the Lib Dems’ equivalent, ‘Pint and Policy’. All things considered, student politics is dynamic, engaging and potentially a significant part of your time at university. If you find your own politics veers a little further left than the traditional UK political parties, then fear not: you won’t be out of place in Oxford. Recently, the city has seen impressive demonstrations supporting staff strike action for fair pay, a well-supported campaign for student union elections pushing for cheaper rent, disciplinary reform and a more democratic union, and campaigns in solidarity with migrant detainees – to name just a couple of things. Away from campaigning, there’s the Oxford Left Review, a student-run journal, and the annual ‘Oxford Radical Forum’, which brings experts from across the world together with students. Recent speakers have included Laurie Penny, Alex Callinicos, and Terry Eagleton. For those interested in fighting for a fairer future, Oxford hosts a very lively and friendly community to get involved in and maybe make an immediate difference. The Oxford Union is, after OUSU, the largest society in Oxford and provides what the college system lacks: a cheap bar, one of the largest lending libraries in Oxford and a central place to meet new friends. It hosts world-famous speakers almost every night, ranging from Psy and Billy Joel to Jesse Jackson and Malala in the last year alone. It has a reputation of being a training ground for future politicians, where the termly elections for its coveted committee positions are hotly contested: to most, however, “the Union” is a place to debate controversial motions and meet inspirational people. The Union isn’t the only place that debate takes place and speakers pull in a crowd. Societies such as International Relations Society and Oxford Model United Nations provide an arena for discussion, and institutions such as OxFID (Oxford Forum for International Development), the UK’s largest student-led development conference, and OxPolicy bring students closer towards the first steps of real-world political and social change.

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charities and volunteering Michael Davies and Emily Silcock, OUSU’s outgoing and incoming Charities and Communities reps, fill you in on all things charitable. Many people come to Oxford with the intention of making the world a better place. This sounds a bit clichéd, but you only have to look at the number of students here involved in charitable fundraising, community outreach and social justice advocacy to see that it’s true. If you have similar, altruistic ambitions for your time at university, you’ll find yourself in great company at Oxford, with a wealth of opportunities at your feet to “do good”. Volunteering is a great way to enrich your time at university; you get the chance to have a positive impact on lives outside of the so-called “Oxford bubble” and develop a completely different set of skills from those you hone through writing essays and ploughing through problem sheets. If you’re keen to get involved, the Oxford Hub is an organisation that works to connect students with causes they care about, making it easy to find volunteering opportunities that appeal to you. There’s something for everyone, from working with special needs children to human rights advocacy, from growing vegetables in a community garden to organising conferences on international development. On the charitable fundraising side, we have Oxford Raise and Give (RAG), the student union’s charitable fundraising campaign, which puts on a huge number of events to raise money for its student-elected charities. In the past year, RAG has run Jailbreak (a competition in which hundreds of students tried to get as far away from

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Oxford as they could in 36 hours without spending any money – final destinations included Gran Canaria, Tangiers and Budapest); a ball with over 1,000 attendees; a bungee jump in the middle of the city; dodgeball competitions; sponsored skydives; fancy-dress bucket collections; a university-wide Blind Date... the list goes on. Thousands of students each year get involved in RAG’s antics to raise money for charity and have a great time doing it, and you could be one of them. There are literally hundreds of things that we would love to talk more about, including the Oxford Living Wage Campaign (students campaigning for improved pay and conditions for low-paid employees in Oxford), the many international volunteering opportunities available and the Community Warden scheme, but we have to bring things to a close here. Still, we hope we’ve convinced you that if you want to save the world, Oxford’s a great place to start. Statistics: è RAG raised more than £100,000 for charity last year è 88 people bungee jumped from a 165ft crane in the centre of Oxford for RAG charities è On Valentine’s Day, 350 students took part in RAG’s Blind Date matchmaking service è 500 doors knocked on in the community as part of OUSU’s Student Community Warden Scheme


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religion As you may have picked up from the rest of the pages in this section, Oxford has a diverse community of supportive and passionate students, so whatever your faith or religious background, you’re sure to find others who want to explore it too. Here are just some of the different religious groups at Oxford. Buddhism The Oxford University Buddhist Society (Budsoc) offers weekly Samatha meditation classes (free of charge) throughout all three terms, as well as speaker events on areas relating to meditation and Buddhist theory. All are welcome, regardless of their level of experience, or whether or not they attend Oxford University. There is a Centre for Buddhist Studies, and Thrangu House on Magdalen Road, Cowley, has a large shrine that holds up to 100 people. Christianity The Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (OICCU) unites hundreds of Christians from all colleges and denominations. OICCU exists to tell people about Jesus and His good news, so if you’re a Christian, get stuck in to your OICCU college group. If you’re not, look out for our weekly Friday Lunchtime Talks, or Text-a-Toastie and ask what it’s all about. There are also several Catholic churches, including Blackfriars, the Oxford Oratory and the University Catholic Chaplaincy. Several student groups are run from the Chaplaincy, including CAFOD and St Vincent de Paul groups. The Newman Society aims to host a meal and speaker event each week and regular social events. Elsewhere, there is an active branch of the Companions of the Order of Malta group, who visit the elderly and the homeless. Hinduism The Oxford University Hindu Society (HUMSoc) organises a busy year of cultural, religious and social events on behalf of the Hindu and South Asian communities. These include a weekly Aarti, Bollywood Film and Curry Nights and Cricket, of course! Our highlights of the year are the Diwali Ball and OxHoli; with hundreds of students attending each, these are events not to be missed! Oxford Hindu Temple & Community Centre Project offers monthly communal prayer sessions as well as information about local events and Hinduism in general.

Islam The Islamic Society (ISoc) provides a social and religious hub for Muslim students in Oxford, organising a series of freshers’ events, weekly socials, football matches, charity fundraisers, Friday prayers, and lectures from world-renowned speakers. The university-provided prayer room serves as a community space, with more mosques located outside the city centre. During Ramadan, students get together for meals arranged by the ISoc. Vegetarian or halal food is available at all colleges and many local restaurants. Muslims with a diverse range of lifestyles are proud to be a part of Oxford’s vibrant fabric of thinkers, movers and shakers; the Oxford University ISOC Facebook group is a good place to ask any questions. Alternatively, feel free to email the committee: ouisoc.mail@gmail.com Jainism Jainism is an ancient Indian religion based around the principles of non-violence, harmlessness, and reincarnation. Young Jain Students Oxford is an organisation that encourages discussion and exploration of Jain philosophy, spirituality, and its practical importance to life in an open and friendly environment. Judaism The Oxford Jewish Society is the social, cultural and religious home in Oxford for Jews of all denominations and levels of observance. Hosting more than 20 studentrun events each term, there’s something to suit everyone, from thought provoking ‘lunch and learns’ with visiting rabbis to the well-renowned ‘Jewbilation’ festival parties. Every Friday, JSoc hosts a fully Kosher Shabbat dinner for 80-120 people, catered by JSoc’s own chef, as well as dinner every weekday. The society’s atmosphere is open and welcoming – members are invited to bring friends, Jewish or non-Jewish. Sikhism Contrary to what you might think, Oxford has a dynamic Sikh society. We meet once a week in a relaxed atmosphere to have a discussion, watch a video or even do some kirtan. On gurpurbs, we visit the local gurdwara and, on Diwali, we do some sewa in the city itself. Each week, a few dozen members of the university attend, making it a great place to make new friends. Our meets often result in us going out for a meal or ice cream afterwards!

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other societies We've picked just some of the many hundreds of societies you can join at Oxford – we don't have room for them all. This is just a taster:

Oxford Parkour

Train to move with Oxford's Parkour/ Freerunning community

Oxford Media Society

Holds talks with influential and successful people in the media.

Oxford University Trampolining Club A friendly club catering for beginners through to experts!

Oxford University Orienteering Club Orienteering – the adventure sport that challenges mind and body.

University of Oxford Economics and Management Society Connecting and nurturing the business leaders of the future.

The Edgar Wind Society for History of Art EWS is Oxford’s society for art-lovers.

Oxford Nightline

8pm-8am, Confidential Listening, Support and Information from Oxford students, throughout the night.

KEEN

KEEN runs sports and social activities for children with disabilities.

The Oxford Irish Dancing Society

'Fun, informal irish dancing classes weekly for beginners to advanced'.

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get involved The Oxford Doctor Who Society

Like-minded fans socialising, watching, discussing, celebrating Doctor Who.

Oxford University Society of Biomedical Sciences (OUSBMS) Enriching lives and minds.

Oxford University Light Entertainment Society

Non-serious drama everyone's welcome to join us, all for charity.

Oxford University Morris Men A mixed morris side with attitude.

Oxford University Space and Astronomy Society

Space, Black Holes, Exoplanets, Cosmology, Nebulae, Astrobiology, Comets, Rockets, Observing.

Hertford Business and Economics Society (HBES) HBES promotes debates and research on sustainability in economics, business and public policy.

The Oxford Thai Society

Oxford's Thai network for Thai and non-Thai Oxonians.

Oxford University Dance Society

OUDS offers affordable dance classes taught by Oxford’s best teachers.

Oxford University Harry Potter Society

We solemnly swear that we are up to no good.

Oxford Latin American Society

Socio-cultural organisation which aims at increasing knowledge about Latin America.

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Oxford City Map Colleges & HAlls

01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

In the city centre All Souls Balliol Blackfriars Brasenose Campion Hall Christ Church Corpus Christi Exeter Green Templeton Harris Manchester Hertford Jesus Keble Linacre Lincoln Magdalen Mansfield Merton New Nuffield Oriel Pembroke Queen’s Regent’s Park St Anne’s St Anthony’s St Benet’s Hall St Catherine’s St Cross St Edmund Hall St Hilda’s St John’s St Peter’s Somerville Trinity University Wadham Worcester Wycliffe Hall

Colleges & HAlls

Outside the city centre 40. Kellogg 41. Lady Margaret Hall 42. St Hugh’s 43. St Stephen’s 44. Wolfson

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Libraries 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

Bodleian Library New Bodleian Library Radcliffe Camera Radcliffe Science Library Sackler Library Taylor Institute Main Library 51. Bodleian Law Library 52. Social Science Library

administration 53. Examination School 54. University Offices 55. University Admission Centre

museums

56. The Ashmolean Museum 57. Bate Collection 58. Museum of the History of Science 59. Pitt Rivers Museum 60. Museum of Natural History

Iconic locations 61. 62. 63. 64.

Botanical Gardens Carfax Tower Sheldonian Theatre University Church of St. Mary 65. Merton Street 66. Bridge of Sighs 67. Magdalen Bridge

Travel 68. Gloucester Green Bus Station 69. Rail Station

Extras 70. 71. 72. 73. 74.

Oxford University Press Heroes Café Covered Market Vaults and Garden Café Turf Tavern

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We at Oxford University Student Union have created this map so that you can find your way around Oxford City. It’s not easy when you are new to a place,

to do in A 10 things day in oxford Have breakfast at Heroes (71) See the Great Hall from Harry Potter at Christ Church (06) Take a walk through Worcester’s gardens (38) See the shrunken heads at the Pitt Rivers Museum (59) Get lunch in the Covered Market (72) Go punting under Magdalen Bridge (67) Have afternoon tea at the Vaults and Garden Café (73) Pop along to OUSU and have a chat. Have a few drinks at the Turf Tavern (74) Get your costume on for the college bop!


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www.ousu.org

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USEFUL CONTACTS Here are the best ways to get in touch with Oxford. Often there’s no need to call or write (very convenient for those living outside the UK); the websites have loads of information and FAQs. In particular check out www. admissions.ox.ac.uk for all the factual stuff you need for applying. Oxford University Student Union 2 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX1 2BX 01865 288 452 www.ousu.org OUSU publishes this prospectus and can provide the text in alternative formats on request. Additional copies are also available. Contact enquiries@ousu.org for more details. Undergraduate Admissions Office University Offices Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD 01865 288 000 undergraduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk www.admissions.ox.ac.uk Target Schools Oxford University Student Union 2 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX1 2BX 01865 288 452 access@ousu.org www.targetschools.ousu.org Target Schools is the OUSU-run campaign dedicated to widening access at Oxford.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special Thanks to

Brona O’Toole Theo Sundh Cherry Jackson Yara Rodrigues-Fowler Victor Yang Charlotte Hendy Daniel Tomlinson Garlen Lo Sarah Pine the JCR Presidents Ralph Williamson Sam Fabian

Photographers

Giacomo Sain Alice Nutting Callum Kelly Sam Fabian Cherry Jackson Ralph Williamson Erika Pheby Alice Nutting Matthew Baldwin Joshua Platt Chris Rawlinson Cat Thompson Claire Poynton-Smith Matthew Knight Oliver Robinson Dina Tsesarsky Cyan Koay Adrien Mallevays Keith Barnes Tanya McKinlay Robert Hyland Emma Harper Holly Meehan Miranda Schah Charlotte Baker Carla Peters Arthur Laidlaw Charlotte Clark Juliane Guderian Lihao Liang Matthew Wigens Michael Livesey Alfred Burton Johan Trovik Ian Chan Namratha Rao Phil Rigley Flo Barnett Charlotte Cooper-Beglin

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Writers

Will Neaverson Anna Bradshaw Dan Templeton Henry Procter Sarah Pine Christoper Pike Jamie Wells Tyler Alabanza-Behard Hope Levy-Shepherd Carrie Ryan Michael Joseph Anne Meeker Henry Procter Alex McCormick Alison Walsh Amy Williams Callum Kelly Cat Edwards Dan Shearer Daniella Shrieir Emily Lindsay Fay Watson Georgina Wilson GrĂĄinne Baker Grant McWalter Jack Straker James Gandhi Jane Morris Jenny Hayhurst Jon Campbell Joshua Platt Kate Bradley Kieran Keel Laura Spence Livi Wilkinson Lottie Pyper Madeleine Chalmers Natash Holcroft-Emmess Nick Tan

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Rosie Ball Sam Skillcorn Sophie Terrett Will Golightly Rebecca Johnston Michael Print Laurel Quinn Ben Phillips Maria Dance Rakesh Dodhia Olivia McDermott Alexandra Leigh Olivia Thompson Rebecca Roughan Lucy Halton Mona Damian Joshua Clark Greg Auger Jennifer Chan Jonathan Hunt Vinay Anicatt Lawrence Middleton Thomas Ough Charlotte Day Sara Tor Essi Turkson Emma Papworth Ashleigh Ainsley Nikita Hayward Joe Rolleston Sam Rakestrow Emily Frazier Kieran Keel Katherine Connolly Helen McCombie Anya Green Justine Rughooputh Michaela Alka Omer Sheikh Mohamed Jimi Cullen

Ben Gardner Jingqoai Fan Rhys Dore Danny Rees Grace Kinsey Flora Sheldon Ellen Jones Conor Dinan Sophie Douglas-Bhanot Emily Smith Peter Connell David Buckley Claudia Clarke Margaretha Wauben Matt Gompels Sophie von der Tann Alex Leide James Restall Olivia Arigho-Stiles Joe Miles Lisa Wehden Matthew Robinson Louis Trup James Taylor Matthew Burnett Nathan Akehurst Kate Bradley George Gillett Mirela Ivanova Chloe Bradshaw Mary Flanigan Michael Davies Emily Silcock Tawfiq Hamid Hiba Haris Naeem Iqbal Manuella Kanter Priya Shah Anoushka Mehta Mirren Johal


NOTES

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Profile for Oxford University Student Union

The Oxford University Student Union Alternative Prospectus  

Do you want to find out what it is really like studying at Oxford? This prospectus, created by students for students, will give you the insi...

The Oxford University Student Union Alternative Prospectus  

Do you want to find out what it is really like studying at Oxford? This prospectus, created by students for students, will give you the insi...

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